Matt Lockwood is winning his race for fitness.

And he is determined to challenge Marc Tierney for Colchester United’s left-back spot.

The experienced U’s defender has suffered a torrid time with injury this season and has been sidelined for nearly five months with a knee problem.

However, the 32-year-old is now back in training and intent on showing manager Paul Lambert – and the U’s fans – just what he can do.

Lockwood told the Gazette: “It won’t be easy to get back in the team but we’ll have to wait and see.

“The fans probably think I was a rubbish signing and I wouldn’t disagree with that so far, because I’ve been injured.

“They’ve seen this lad come in from Nottingham Forest who hasn’t played.

“I know what I can do – my record and my career speaks for itself – I’m an attacking full-back who likes to create goals and score goals.

“All I can do is play to the best of my ability – that has been good enough in the last 15 years or so.

“It’s a case of proving to everyone why Colchester signed me in the first place.”

Lockwood was signed by former U’s boss Geraint Williams from Nottingham Forest last summer.

But injury has restricted him to only three matches and Williams has since been replaced by Lambert as Colchester manager.

“It’s frustrating to be injured anyway,” said Lockwood, who is hoping to feature in the U’s Essex Senior Cup clash with AFC Hornchurch on Wednesday night.

“But when everything has changed at the club like it has with a new manager and players coming in, it’s doubly frustrating.

“I want to show the new manager what I can do and prove to him that I should be in the team.”