New manager John Ward has challenged both Pat Baldwin and Steven Gillespie to put their patchy form of times past behind them and prove they can play regularly for Colchester United.
Both striker Gillespie, 24, and defender Baldwin, 28, received phonecalls from the new U`s boss on Monday morning shortly before he was unveiled as manager and were told to force the issue of their selection when they return to pre-season training in a month`s time.
“I want them to know that now so that when they return, they are giving me every intention that they are physically and mentally ready to start playing,” Ward said.
Baldwin on Friday had said he was considering his future with the club in light of loan spells last term with Bristol Rovers and Southend, while Gillespie has had chronic injury and fitness problems which have limited his games since signing from Cheltenham Town almost two years ago.
“I want Pat Baldwin to be at this football club at the begging of pre-season training and I want him to have the competition of the other centre halves. He`s back in the fold and will get his chance,” Ward explained.
He added: “I`ve spoken to Steven Gillespie. I want him to make me put him in the team. That`s what he`s got to do.”
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