Colchester United v Carlisle United: the favourable impact of Mikael Mandron

PUBLISHED: 16:19 13 October 2017

Mikael Mandron was heads above the opposition against Mansfield last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Mikael Mandron was heads above the opposition against Mansfield last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Mikael Mandron has had his share of ups and downs in his career, and he has only just turned 23.

The French-born striker celebrated his 23rd birthday on Wednesday, just four days after producing his best display in a Colchester United shirt.

U’s boss John McGreal was delighted with the impact made by Mandron, his summer signing from Wigan, during last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Mansfield.

McGreal insists that there is much to come from Mandron, but that the ex-Sunderland Academy product is moving in the right direction.

“Mikael is getting there,” enthused McGreal, on the eve of today’s home match against Carlisle.

“He works very hard for the team, which often goes unnoticed, and he’s only just turned 23 this week.

“He is still learning his trade, but he has so many assets to his game and he was a real handful for Mansfield’s defence last weekend.

“I still think Mansfield look good bets for a top-three finish, but Mikael gave them problems and got his goal.

“He is a different type of player to Ports (Chris Porter). Ports did not come out of the pocket, he is very much an out-and-out target man.

“Mikael does go into that pocket, and he can play as a lone man up front as well.

“You knew what you were going to get with Ports, week in, week out, being a seasoned professional.

“Mikael is now getting his rewards, and he is improving all the time,” added McGreal.

Porter top-scored with 16 goals last season, before his summer move to League Two rivals Crewe.

The 33-year-old has so far netted five goals for the Railwaymen, although he has not hit the target in the last seven games.

He is set for a brief return to the Weston Homes Community Stadium, when Crewe visit in two weeks time.

Mandron, meanwhile, has started 11 of the U’s first 12 league games, and he has notched three goals, as well as a few assists, including a superb header against Mansfield.

With fellow attacker Kurtis Guthrie and attacking midfielder Sammie Szmodics still laid-low with injuries, Mandron’s role in the team remains a key one.

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