COLCHESTER United boss Matty Etherington has revealed Joe Taylor phoned him as soon as he had finished his international duty to ask if he could play against former club Peterborough United.

The U’s top scorer played 45 minutes for Wales under-21s in their U21 Euro qualifier against Denmark at Newport County on Monday night but asked Etherington if he could play against his former club Posh, in the EFL Trophy, some 24 hours later.

Taylor, on loan from Premier League side Luton Town, is back in Colchester’s squad this weekend for the visit of Barrow to the JobServe Community Stadium, having missed the games against Posh along with the defeat at leaders Stockport County, last weekend.

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Etherington said: “Joe only played a half on Monday and he called me on the way home to say he wanted to play against his ex-club Peterborough on Tuesday but I soon put that to bed!

“He just wants to play football and I think with it being Peterborough, where he moved from to go to Luton, he still speaks to some of his ex-team-mates there and I think there was a little bit of that going on.

“But he was travelling back that night and I don’t think he got in until two or three in the morning, so it was obviously best to leave him but he’ll be ready to go on Saturday.


“Joe gives us something different, in terms of his pace and stretching defences and he’s scored a decent amount of goals already.

“Hopefully he can add to that between now and the new year.”

Etherington has decisions to make ahead of Colchester’s game with Barrow, having paired Brad Ihionvien and Tom Hopper in attack against Peterborough.

Ihionvien scored the U’s winner, while Hopper impressed as his strike partner with a hard-working display.

“I thought both Brad and Tom were really good against (Peterborough), with different performances that they give you from different players,” added Etherington.

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“Brad is just a handful; he’ll always create something and he’ll create something for himself.

“Sometimes, his decision making can be better and he knows that but they were both really good against Peterborough.

“Hops never stopped working; he won his aerial duels, tactically he was very, very good for us out of possession.

“He’s a great lad and a great professional and I really like him as a person.

“I think you’re desperate to play at any age but especially at Tom’s age now.


“He just wants regular minutes and unfortunately, he’s not had that this season, up until this point.

“But we’ve got really good options in those forward areas and I’ll try and use them to the best of my ability.

“I do feel sorry for him; we’ve got Samson and Joe who are causing defences in this league a lot of problems if we give them the right service.

“It’s hard on occasions to leave those two out.

“I’m bringing them off when I feel like Hops and Brad can come on and make a difference but then you’ve got the issue that they don’t want to come off that early, so that’s everything that being a head coach entails.

“But we’ve got good options and we’ve had John Akinde back on the grass this week, so he’s another one to add.”