With nothing to play for in League One but with two games remaining this season, attention inevitably turns to the future and nitty-gritty of contract extensions.
On Friday in a controversial report of Aidy Boothroyd`s weekend press conference in the East Anglian Daily Times asked if indecision over the future of some squad members had in fact contributed to the team`s recent poor form of one win in twelve games.
Whatever your view, most of the six recently revealed to have their futures instantly in the balance are nevertheless on the fringe of the first team. Logic and known facts means that only one of those names remains a mystery to most U`s fans, with the other five all-but sorted, reading behind the headlines.
Right-back Alan Maybury, who has not played for the club since placing a goal-conceding backpass at the start of the season, ought to have played his last game for the side and is just seeing out the end a one year deal penned last summer. Hasn`t featured under Boothroyd.
An expensive signing when he arrived in 2008, former Tottenham, Southampton and Millwall player Phil Ifil expects to have his contract renewed, hwoever, after appealing for an extension over Christmas. The 24-year-old has played in less than half of the U`s fixtures over that period but impressed this season since earning a recall under Boothroyd.
David Prutton signed on a permanent but short-term contract from Leeds earlier this season, but nothing public can either confirm or deny his possible whereabouts next term. Scorer of two goals since joining, Prutton is liked by his manager to the extent that he kept John-Joe O`Toole, another Boothroyd favourite, out of the team unit the youngster suffered injury.
Former Layton Orient and Nottingham Forest full-back Matt Lockwood, however, is one of the only confirmed deportees and his currently playing for League Two struggles Barnett. Former boss Paul Lambert, now at Norwich, infamously made him available as a free agent last summer but the club were unable to find a buyer.
Striker Scott Vernon is the fifth known player yet to sort his future with the Essex club and much of the season has seen the 26-year-old former Blackpool forwarded loaned out, initially to Gillingham and then Southend United.
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