SAM Walker’s impact on the Colchester United team, since he arrived a month ago, cannot be over-stated.

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The giant keeper, on loan from Chelsea, has played a key role in the U’s change of fortunes, following a dismal nine-game losing streak.

Walker’s arrival has coincided with a run of three wins in four matches, the kind of form that should see Joe Dunne’s men steer clear of the relegation zone.

The 21-year-old, 6ft 5ins custodian, has kept two clean-sheets in those four fixtures, and conceded just three goals. He was also the man-of-the-match in the 1-0 home defeat by Swindon a week ago.

But for Walker, it is the team’s “togetherness” which is the crucial factor in the U’s current mini-revival, a feature evident in last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Preston.

“I love keeping clean-sheets, and I really loved the game against Preston,” enthused Walker.

“It was just a big battle, at the end of the day. Preston do what they do, they did it well I thought, but we stood up to it really well.

“There has been a real togetherness about the team, which is something I’ve noticed since I’ve been here.

“We’re all buzzing, as a team, not just sitting there in the dressing room as individuals. That togetherness, at this level, is massive, and this is going to help us through.

“You have got to be solid, strong and together, and that is what we have got,” added Walker.

The U’s loanee will now be looking for another clean-sheet at Sheffield United this Saturday.

Walker said: “It’s looking good at the moment. We needed the last win, because we have some hard games coming up. But we will be going to Sheffield United full of confidence, trying to get a result. I’m a firm believer that anyone can beat anyone in Leagues One and Two.”

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