Lambert gone . . . White glad to be back

COLCHESTER United defender John White has become the latest of Paul Lambert's 'forgotten five' to speak out against his former manager's regime.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United defender John White has become the latest of Paul Lambert's 'forgotten five' to speak out against his former manager's regime.

The 23-year-old - along with Medy Elito, Phil Ifil, Matt Lockwood and Johnnie Jackson - was told at the start of the season by Lambert that he was not in his plans.

The quintet were informed they would be training with the reserves indefinitely and would be left at home while the first team squad headed to Germany for a pre-season tour.

Lambert has since left the Weston Homes Community Stadium to manage East Anglian and League One rivals Norwich City and new boss Aidy Boothroyd has called in every single one of his ostracised squad members from the cold.

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Jackson has moved onto pastures new with Notts County, but the other four have all returned to the first team fold. Lockwood and Elito have already spoken out at their treatment by Lambert, while White has now had his say.

“I felt I never got the chance to impress him,” said White, who has played in all three of Boothroyd's games so far. “It wasn't that I was given the chance and messed it up, he just decided he didn't fancy me and that was that, I wasn't involved.”

He added: “The new manager has been like a breath of fresh air. It's nice for the forgotten players that were left disappointed by the old manager to feel wanted around the place again.”

White was born in Colchester, signed as a trainee for the club and since making his debut in 2004 has featured over 100 times for the U's. However, he feared his five-year association with his boyhood club would come to an end this year after Lambert sent him out on loan to Southend United at the start of the season.

“I knew it would go either way this season and to start with it went from bad to worse. I was told I would not be travelling to Germany and then obviously I was out on loan.

“I was very close to leaving, very, very close and that would have been heartbreaking because I've been at this club for such a long time.

“Thankfully the new manager came in at just the right time. Since he's come in there is a good buzz around the team and it's not just the starting 11, it's the whole playing squad.

“Everyone is being made to feel important and we have all been told that we will get our chance to play.”

- A Colchester United reserves side with a wealth of first team experience maintained their undefeated start to the season with a 0-0 draw at Northampton yesterday afternoon.

Striker Steven Gillespie completed his first full 90 minutes since his latest return from injury, while Mark Cousins had an impressive game in goal. Teenage defender Tom Bender played after making his first team debut at the weekend, while David Perkins, having handed in a transfer request, was put in the shop window.

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