RICHARD Bakary is set to get another chance to impress for Colchester United under-23s tonight when they host Queens Park Rangers.

The 21-year-old right-back featured for the U’s development side in their 2-1 win over Cardiff City in Professional Development League Two, last week.

And he is expected to get another opportunity to shine when Kevin Horlock’s side entertain QPR at the JobServe Community Stadium (kick-off 7pm).

Bakary is on the lookout for a new club having been released by Southampton last summer, after spending more than four years at the Premier League outfit.

Colchester’s youngsters will be hoping to follow up their 2-1 win over Cardiff City when they host Rangers.

Goals from Louis Dunne and Tarique Hyde gave the U’s victory and they will now be looking for consecutive wins for the first time this season.

Colchester academy manager Jon De Souza said: “It was the strongest under-23 side that we’ve put out all season (against Cardiff).

“When you have an older team out there, it’s what you expect.

“In the first half, I thought we were OK.

“We were a bit disappointed with the energy and aggression levels of the players and we told them that at half-time.

“In the second half, it was better and we scored the two goals.”

Colchester have fielded a much younger under-23 side this season, with several under-18 players featuring on a regular basis.

They are currently bottom of their Professional Development League table but although De Souza admits that while results are important for confidence, the games this season against bigger clubs such as Watford and Crystal Palace have been valuable experience for the club’s younger academy players.

De Souza said: “Everyone wants to win games of football and when you struggle to do that, it might affect players.

“But at the same time, there’s a realisation in both groups (the under-23s and under-18s) that this season, we’re young.

“That’s not to say though that we don’t want to win but if we were going out with older sides and losing regularly, it might affect the confidence.

“The experience that the players have had this season has been terrific.

“We’ve had 30 appearances from schoolboys in the under-23s so far, which is brilliant.

“What we have to make sure for each of our academy players is that they have the right challenge to ensure that eventually, they can progress to the first team.

“Some players will need to go out and experience first-team football and that in turn will create more of a pathway for others.”