We need to kick on again - White

COLCHESTER United defender John White is already a member of the U's “old guard” at the relatively young age of 22.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United defender John White is already a member of the U's “old guard” at the relatively young age of 22.

The former youth teamer duly clocked up his 100th league game last week, in the 1-0 home defeat by Leicester, before producing a man-of-the-match performance in Saturday's 1-0 reverse at the hands of Bristol Rovers.

But whereas his career is on the up, in terms of regular football, it has coincided with a dip in form for the team as a whole.

The U's will be looking to take their minds off their struggling league position by making further advances in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Gillingham tonight.

“I feel that I'm now established in the team, which feels good after all the ups and downs of the last two years,” explained White.

Most Read

“It was good to pass 100 league games last week. Like the rest of us, I'm doing my best for the team. We're having a rough ride at the moment, but we're all looking to do it for Kit (Symons).

“We are all working hard for Kit. We want to get some wins for him. It was great at Tranmere (4-3 win), but we need to kick on again.”

Local lad White, who was born in Great Totham, near Maldon, has seen his share of good times and bad times over the last few seasons.

In fact, only Kem Izzet and Pat Baldwin of the current U's staff have made more appearances for the Essex club than White.

His Colchester career was on hold midway through last season when, after only two league appearances before the turn of the year, he was farmed out on loan to Stevenage Borough.

But he returned a more confident player, and even switched from right-back to left-back following George Elokobi's move to Wolves. He played 20 games on the bounce, his longest run in the team, and has now returned to his more familiar right-back slot this term.

“We need to get that first home win under our belts. It's disappointing for all of us. It's not that we are getting 25,000 people booing us every week,” continued White.

“But we now have a few away games to look forward to, starting with Gillingham. I don't think we are suffering from a lack of belief. It's just that we are lacking the killer pass.

“We need to create more chances going forward. We are making the wrong decisions with our final ball, and we need to make it count when we are on top, like during the early stages against Bristol Rovers.

“If Clive Platt's early header had gone in (goal-line clearance from Danny Coles), then I think it would have been a different story (on Saturday). We would have been able to take a breath and move on,” added White.

White has started every game except the Carling Cup defeat at Ipswich this season, and he will be hoping to maintain his run in the side at Gillingham.

Caretaker manager Kit Symons will be taking charge of his fourth game, since Geraint Williams' departure just over a fortnight ago. He will have to make at least one change to his 16-man squad, because Chris Coyne has flown out to his native Australia to prepare for the Socceroos latest World Cup Asian qualifier against Qatar, to be staged on Wednesday week.

Coyne was an unused substitute against Bristol Rovers. Those hoping for a recall to the starting line-up include Steven Gillespie, Phil Ifil and Anthony Wordsworth.

Although the U's have been out-of-sorts at home, and are still to find that elusive first win at their new Community Stadium after five starts, their away form has been better with four wins in seven outings.

One of those away successes was a 1-0 win at Priestfield in the first round of the Carling Cup, when Matt Heath was the marksman.

A David Perkins strike accounted for hosts Millwall (1-0) in the first round of the Trophy a month ago. Gillingham enjoyed a bye into round two.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter