Gillespie set for long-awaited return

STEVEN Gillespie is set to make his long-awaited return to the Colchester United line-up against Bristol Rovers this afternoon.Club record signing Gillespie has endured a stop-start first few months to life with the U's, following his £400,000 move from Cheltenham.

Carl Marston

STEVEN Gillespie is set to make his long-awaited return to the Colchester United line-up against Bristol Rovers this afternoon.

Club record signing Gillespie has endured a stop-start first few months to life with the U's, following his £400,000 move from Cheltenham.

Dogged by a succession of niggling injuries, Gillespie was then hit by a three-match ban for his late red card at Crewe. He has since served his suspension, and is now hoping to inspire the U's to their first ever win at their new Community Stadium.


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“I'm a big Liverpool fan, and everyone was talking about Robbie Keane not scoring until he found the net this week,” explained ex-Liverpool trainee Gillespie, with reference to Keane's first Liverpool goal against PSV Eindhoven.

“Now they won't be reporting on that anymore, and that's what we need to do by getting our first win at the new ground. It will soon be forgotten once we get that first one out of the way.

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“At least my frustration is over now. It's seemed such a long time, though at least the midweek game against Leicester has meant that it's not been quite three weeks out.

“I haven't been able to really get going so far this season, because of injuries and that suspension. In fact, I've missed more games already than I would have hoped to do in a whole season.

“Hopefully, I've had my share of knock-backs and can now enjoy some luck. There's been a change of manager (Geraint Williams' departure) since I last played, but then things happen so quickly in football,” added Gillespie.

While Gillespie has netted three goals in his limited appearances for the U's - just two starts - opposing striker Rickie Lambert has plundered eight goals for Bristol Rovers.

In fact, Lambert currently tops the League One goal-scoring charts with eight goals, an impressive haul in a struggling team. He bagged a brace in the 6-1 win over Hereford.

Gillespie said: “I know all about Rickie (Lambert) from my days on loan at Bristol City, and also when I was down the road at Cheltenham.

“He's an aggressive striker, who scores a lot of goals. We need to compete with them physically, and the start playing our football.”

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