COLCHESTER United defender Ryan Clampin admits he has plenty to learn from his experienced team-mate Charlie Daniels.

But the 22-year-old has welcomed the competition that currently exists between the two players currently vying for the U's left-back spot.

Clampin returned to Colchester's starting line-up in the league for the first time since mid-August when he featured in their 2-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers, last Friday.

The U's academy product has had to wait patiently for his chance after suffering an ankle injury against Mansfield, with Daniels taking his place in the team.

But former AFC Bournemouth favourite Daniels, who has nearly 500 career appearances under his belt, is now sidelined himself with a hip flexor injury - and Clampin says he is determined to take his chance.

Clampin said: "He's a great player and it's great competition.

"It's healthy competition that both of us need, in order to stay in the team.

"He's an older, experienced player and I've got a lot to learn off him.

"But when I get my opportunities, I'm going to give everything I can to stay in there.

"It was a tough game to come back into but I've been waiting patiently for my opportunity to get back in the team.

"The injury's killed me but it's nice to be back on the pitch.

"It's good to know that I can actually get through a 90 and it was a tough, tough test (against Tranmere).

"Knowing that I can get through that is good for games to come."


Clampin's first league start for nearly two months was not an easy one, against an in-form Tranmere side who boast one of the best home records in League Two.

It did not help that the U's defender was booked for a 14th minute foul on Josh Dacres-Cogley but he battled on and completed the 90 minutes, at Prenton Park.

"It was tough - I thought the yellow card was very soft," said Clampin, who has made nearly 50 league and cup appearances for the U's since making his senior debut in September, 2018.

"I didn't think it was a yellow at all but it is what it is and I had to get on with it.

"He (Callum McManaman) is a very good player and tricky but I can't dive in and I don't want to be getting sent off early doors, especially first game back.

"It does change the way you go into tackles a little bit for the rest of the game.

"I think I've got to be a bit more mentally smart.

"It's nothing to do with the actual tackling but more about not diving enough and holding up a bit.

"But it's tough when he's a tricky player.


"You have to get the balance between being head smart and being aggressive as well.

"Tranmere looked a very good side.

"It was tough going there and trying to get a result, against some very, very good players.

"But we were disappointed to not pick up a point at least.

"We knew that they were going to come out of the traps but when you're actually playing, it's a lot tougher in the game.

"At times, we did deal with it to see them out and slow the game down a little bit.

"But a deflected goal has killed us and from there, it was really tough."

Colchester are now without a win in four matches in League Two, having failed to score in that time.

However, four of their next five league games are at the JobServe Community Stadium and Clampin is confident that they can turn their form around.

He added: "It's early doors and we're still gelling as a team.

"We're not quite there yet at the minute but I believe that with the squad we've got, we can get there.

"We've got a lot of home games coming up now, so we need to take advantage of that and get some points on the board.

"We have to bounce back and look forward to the next game."