BEN Garner’s dismissal as Colchester United’s boss has served as a ‘reality check’, according to assistant head coach Scott Marshall.

The U’s are on the lookout for a new boss after Garner was sacked following a run of four successive defeats, which had left the club languishing in the League Two relegation zone.

Since Garner’s exit, Colchester have registered impressive back-to-back wins, at Accrington Stanley and Grimsby Town.

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And Marshall, who also worked alongside Garner as his number two at Charlton Athletic and Swindon Town, believes the club’s decision to part company with their head coach has been a stark event for Colchester’s players.

Marshall, who took caretaker charge of the U's at Accrington following the contractual issues affecting interim boss Matty Etherington, said: “With Ben being suddenly being removed from his post as well, I think it gives everyone a reality check, in terms of the seriousness of it.

“It’s a professional game and although football is a game, you quickly realise the situation you’re in.

“It’s been a disappointing time, as well as (being) proud of getting six points and delighted for the lads for the way they’ve performed and done well.


“I worked with Ben and had some good times, over the last few years.

“We share a lot of common thought on how the game works and that (his dismissal) has been a disappointment, of course it has.

“But football keeps on going and the next game comes along quickly.

“Two games away from home at difficult places to go, it was good to see a bit of character from the lads and I think what happened to Ben has given them a bit of realization.

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“They’re young guys and I think maybe they’ve not experienced that or couldn’t quite understand that and it all helps to galvanize a little bit of spirit, in terms of pulling together.

“It’s nice to see a group of lads digging in and working hard to achieve something.”

Meanwhile, Colchester are hoping that Samson Tovide will be fit to face Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup this weekend, after he was taken off injured in the second half of their victory at Accrington Stanley.


The teenage striker appeared to be in a fair amount of pain as he was helped off the field, after going down near the halfway line in the U’s 1-0 win at the Wham Stadium.

Marshall added: “I don’t know exactly what’s happened there.

“We were a bit worried about him when anybody goes down and there’s nobody close to them.

“That’s always a worry but I just saw him briefly and he said he’s OK, so that was pleasing.”