U’s boss McGreal on the goalkeeping situation

PUBLISHED: 15:47 18 October 2018

Rene Gilmartin, on his U's league debut last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Rene Gilmartin, on his U's league debut last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Rene Gilmartin was a surprise inclusion in the Colchester United starting line-up last weekend, the U’s goalkeeping coach being preferred to Dillon Barnes for the 3-1 home win over Crawley Town.

Dillon Barnes, who was rested rather than 'dropped' last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER    WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMDillon Barnes, who was rested rather than 'dropped' last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

It was Gilmartin’s league debut for the Essex club, having played second fiddle to Sam Walker last term, and then Barnes this term, and the 31-year-old impressed enough to suggest that he will again be in goal again at Morecambe this Saturday.

Speaking at this lunchtime’s press conference, following this morning’s training session at Florence Park, McGreal insisted: “Dillon (Barnes) was not dropped.

“He just needed a rest. We don’t want to burn him out, especially as we are very conscious of the history of injuries that we have had at this club in recent years.

“We have to learn from the past, when perhaps some players played with injuries. This season we have more competition for places, so we can move players around more.

“I have advice from the sports scientists and alike, but in the end the final decision is mine.

“Besides, it’s my head that is on the chopping block,” added McGreal.

Barnes played the first 12 league games of this season, and long-term looks set to be the U’s No. 1. But Gilmartin might prove difficult to dislodge, for the time being.

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