JAKE Turner says he is relishing the opportunity to shine in Colchester United's starting line-up.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper has had to wait patiently for his chance for the U's in League Two, following his loan move from Premier League side Newcastle United in the summer.

But following Shamal George's rib injury at Stevenage, shot-stopper Turner has seized his chance with both hands.

He has started Colchester's last two matches against Newport County and Exeter City and shone in both fixtures, making a number of key saves.

Turner says he is happy to step up and do his bit for Hayden Mullins and the team.

Turner said: "Sham's a great keeper and he's done excellent, this year.

"It's a shame about his injury but I'm happy to step up and hopefully keep the performances going for him.

"The main thing as a 22-year-old keeper is to get games - the more games you play, the more experience you get.

"But even when I wasn't playing, I've felt like I've been training well and I was always ready for my opportunity.

"You have to show the manager, the coach, the staff, the players what you can do and hopefully, I've done that.

"Even from when I first came here, I feel like I've come on a lot."


Turner was in fine form for Colchester in their 1-1 draw with Newport on Friday night, making a number of vital stops.

The former Morecambe loanee was beaten by Dom Telford's first-half wonder strike, which was cancelled out late on by Freddie Sears' equally well-taken goal.

"We wanted to get the three points but when you go 1-0 down you've got to get back in the game, so it was a point gained," said Turner, who has made five appearances for the U's, so far.

"When you play a team in the top ten, they're going to pose you problems but I felt the back four dealt with it well.

"It was a great finish from the lad (Dom Telford) and he has been on fire but it was a shame we couldn't keep him out.


"It was an excellent finish from Freddie.

"It was a great ball from Judgey and it was great to see him back on the pitch.

"He's played a great pass through and Freddie took a great touch and the finish was excellent.

"Freddie's in good form at the moment and has scored a few goals, this season so it's good to see him scoring."

Turner and his U's team-mates have now switched their focus to the cup competitions, as they prepare for tomorrow's trip to play Swindon Town in the Papa John's Trophy second round.

Colchester then host League One side Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup second round, on Sunday.

Turner added: "We have two big cup games coming up now and we want to do well in them.

"The Papa John's Trophy game is a chance for us to try and get to Wembley, which would be great not just for the club but for the fans as well.

"I think it's something that they deserve."