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Chance for U's players to stake their claim
Colchester United manager John Ward wants his players to stake a claim for a place in his new-look starting line-up tonight.
The U’s host Championship side Derby County in a pre-season friendly, with the new season just ten days away.
Ward is remaining tight-lipped over whether the side he starts with against the Rams will be the same one that takes on Yeovil Town in the Capital One Cup first round, on Tuesday week.
But the U’s boss said the visit of Derby, coupled with the friendly with Ipswich Town next Wednesday, will give him a good indication of who might start at Huish Park, on August 14.
Ward said: “The games against Derby and Ipswich will give me a pointer for my starting line-up.
“But the team that starts against Derby might be different to that which starts against Ipswich and people can read into that how they wish.
“We have a smaller squad of 18 and it’s important that we have players who are fit and available and ready to go for the first game.
“We will be tested by a higher league club tonight.
“Our next two friendly matches will be telling for me, in terms of the level that we’re at.
“Derby and Ipswich will be strong opposition and we will have our work cut out.
“But it will give us a good indication of where we’re at, with the season so close.
“People say that the result isn’t too important because it’s a friendly.
“But neither team will want to lose and they’re all professionals.
“It matters how we go about our job and I’m intrigued about how the week will go.”
See Friday's Gazette for more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news.
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