Colchester United team news ahead of Port Vale trip

COLCHESTER United will be without one of their midfielders for the trip to Port Vale, this weekend.

Tom Lapslie is set to see a specialist about a knee injury he sustained playing for the U's under-23s against Ipswich Town, last week.

The tenacious midfielder is set to miss the game at Vale Park, as Colchester look for valuable points in their League Two promotion push.

Colchester head coach John McGreal said: “Lapslie came off in the under-23 game and he’s seen a specialist about his knee.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate, in that he does give us that extra competition in that midfield area."

Paris Cowan-Hall is still sidelined with a calf injury and Colchester will also check on 'one or two' of their other players, ahead of the game against Vale.

“We have options," said McGreal, who must decide whether or not to make changes to his starting line-up following their 3-2 defeat to Grimsby Town, on Tuesday night.

“There are one or two who have niggles, especially with a couple of games in quick succession and a hard game last Saturday (against Plymouth) and trying to fight back against Grimsby.

“We keep saying that we need a squad – the XI isn’t just going to do it for us.

“We need 16, 17, or 18 players and that’s the back-up of the under-23s as well, to complement the squad that we’ve got."

Colchester take on an in-form Port Vale side who lie just a point behind them in the table.

John Askey’s side have lost only one of their last six games and McGreal is expecting a tough game.

He said: “It’s a big game against another team of play-off potential.

“Port Vale are on a good run, as are one or two other teams in and around us.

“We’ve been on a good run, too with two defeats in four months.

“We’ve still got really good habits that we’ve formed in that long unbeaten run.

“Yes we lost to Grimsby but the performance against Plymouth was unbelievable.

“To match that would have been difficult but we more than deserved to beat Grimsby but we let ourselves down at certain stages of the game.

“Hopefully we’ll learn from it – we look at it as a learning experience and we’re a progressive team.

“We’re in a really healthy position.

“Port Vale are in form but we still believe we’re in form as well and we believe we have a potent threat, as well.

“John (Askey) has got them going in the right direction.

“I know his number two Dave (Kevan) – he was my coach at Burnley and I’ve got a lot of time for him.

“It’s great to see him back in football and doing well.

“It’ll be nice to catch up with those guys but it’ll be about us.”