ARTHUR Read has revealed he has been playing through the pain barrier to help Colchester United in their League Two survival battle.

The U's midfielder has had an ankle issue in recent weeks but has continued playing, with the club's EFL status at stake.

Read, who has made 43 league and cup appearances this season, has been one of Colchester's most impressive performers in the 2023-24 campaign.

The former Stevenage midfielder is eager to continue to play his part in the U's remaining three games.

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Read said: "It's been a demanding season.

"I've spoken to the physio and I've got an injection in my ankle (on Wednesday), which will hopefully kill all the pain and get me through to the end of the season.

"I've had an issue with it for a few weeks but I've just kind of been playing through it.

"I've played a lot of games which I'm very grateful for, I think the most I've ever played.

"My body feels good.

"I think this season as a whole, on a personal level I've played my best football.


"I know I've got to keep doing it every game, because there's people on the bench who want to take my spot.

"There's a good squad where anyone can come in for me, so I have to be right at it."

Colchester head to Notts County on Saturday knowing that a win can secure their League Two status.

Danny Cowley's side sit four points above the drop zone with three games left, with Sutton United probably needing to win both of their remaining games to have any chance of staying up.

"We're not safe yet and it's all about Saturday," said Read.

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"That puts all the pressure on Sutton.

"We haven't been where we want to be all season.

"At the start of the season, our hopes were completely different.

"We're in a bad position and it's a case of having to give it everything.

"We've got a group of players who all want to kick on and if we get relegated, it's an awful thing for everyone - for individuals getting moves or kicking on in their career, it's a massive step back.

"I think everyone knows that and we can't let that happen."


Read, 24, added another assist to his season's total when he provided the pass for Tom Hopper's opener in the 2-0 win over Grimsby Town, on Tuesday night.

The victory over the Mariners was only the second time this season that the U's have registered back-to-back league wins.

Read said: "It was a great finish (from Hopper).

"The win was a big step.

"We got back-to-back wins, which I think we've struggled with, this season.

"That may be mentality, it may be a lot of things.

"To get back-to-back wins is massive and a good time to do it."