Unhappy return for U's defender Baldwin

PAT Baldwin rejected a move to Bristol Rovers just hours before his shaky performance in Saturday's East Anglian clash.The 27-year-old defender's seven-year association with Colchester United had looked to be coming to an end after manager Aidy Boothroyd accepted a bid from Bristol Rovers for him towards the end of last week.

Stuart Watson

PAT Baldwin rejected a move to Bristol Rovers just hours before his shaky performance in Saturday's East Anglian clash.

The 27-year-old defender's seven-year association with Colchester United had looked to be coming to an end after manager Aidy Boothroyd accepted a bid from Bristol Rovers for him towards the end of last week.

However, contract negotiations broke down just a day before the visit of Norwich and - with Paul Reid injured - Baldwin made a surprise return to the Colchester bench.

U's boss Aidy Boothroyd recently described the former club skipper as his 'fifth choice centre-back', but with his side trailing 3-0 on Saturday he decided to bring Baldwin on.

The defender looked desperately short of confidence during his 35 minutes on the field though as two glaring individual errors saw City score twice more in the closing stages.

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“We agreed a fee with Bristol Rovers for Pat, but he was unable to agree personal terms with them,” confirmed Boothroyd, who originally allowed Baldwin to join League One rivals Bristol Rovers on loan in order to gain match fitness following injury.

“I then felt that, with him being a seasoned professional that has been named in Colchester's team of the decade, he should come back into the fold and just get on with it.

“I'm not the sort of person who is stubborn and not flexible enough to move on. My view is that, if a player is not going to go, then he stays and does his best for us.”

Meanwhile, Boothroyd confirmed that fellow centre-back Paul Reid missed out on Saturday because he had undergone a groin operation early last week.

The injury was not revealed publicly because it was hoped that Reid would be fit for the game, however he should now be in contention for Colchester's next match.

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