‘They are playing better than me’ – Colchester United’s Lewis Kinsella

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 October 2017

Lewis Kinsella battles with Josh Parker during the recent Checkatrade Trophy match against Gillingham.  Picture: STEVE WALLER

Lewis Kinsella battles with Josh Parker during the recent Checkatrade Trophy match against Gillingham. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Lewis Kinsella admits that some of his team-mates, and rivals for the left-back/left wing-back role, have been playing better than him.

Lewis Kinsella, ready to take his opportunity at left wing-back. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALLLewis Kinsella, ready to take his opportunity at left wing-back. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

The 23-year-old former Aston Villa defender has endured a stop-start first couple of months to this season, and has often been twiddling his thumbs on the substitutes’ bench, at best.

But he was introduced off the bench after just 20 minutes of Tuesday night’s away test at Newport County, following an injury to Kane Vincent-Young, and proceeded to impress at left wing-back as the U’s celebrated a notable 2-1 win on the road.

“It is obviously hard when you are not playing,” explained Kinsella.

“But I feel when I have been given an opportunity, I have done quite well, with the exception of a shaky game against Cambridge (replaced at half-time in a 1-0 defeat on September 2).

Lewis Kinsella, on the ball against Newport, ironically in the match he suffered a long-term ankle injury last October. Picture: STEVE WALLERLewis Kinsella, on the ball against Newport, ironically in the match he suffered a long-term ankle injury last October. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“Apart from that, I think I’ve done well.

“But with the way that Kane (Vincent-Young) and Drey (Wright) are playing, then they deserve to be in the team ahead of me. That means I have to bide my time, and wait for my opportunity.

“It’s very competitive position. Both of them (Vincent-Young and Wright), when they have come in, have been exceptional, so at the end of the day I have to hold my hands up and admit that they are playing better than I am.

“They are making more of a difference towards the game, so when it is my time I have also got to make that same impression.

Lewis Kinsella, on as a first-half substitute, looks to win a header in the air against Newport wing-back David Pipe. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALLLewis Kinsella, on as a first-half substitute, looks to win a header in the air against Newport wing-back David Pipe. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

“I am there for when called upon, like at Newport the other night.

“I am the type of kid that works hard and does as well as I can. I give it everything I have got, when I get the opportunity.

“I have to be professional. I’ve done all I can do – I do all my extras in training, but then it’s out of my hands.

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“Then it’s up to the manager (John McGreal). It’s hard for him to make such tough decisions.

“But it’s better for him if he’s got players like Kane, Drey and me pushing for the same position, and Cole (Kpewaka) as well,” added Kinsella.

So far this season, Kinsella has featured in just seven of the 14 league fixtures and overall, since his move away from Villa Park in the summer of 2016, he has only made 20 league appearances – his cause was not helped by a long-term ankle injury, suffered in the 0-0 home draw against Newport just over a year ago, on October 8, 2016.

He is champing at the bit now, however, and played his part in the U’s second away win of the season at Newport on Tuesday evening, when Ryan Jackson and Mikael Mandron both obliged with second-half goals.

Now Kinsella will be hoping to help secure a third away win on the bounce, at Coventry City tomorrow, following the 1-0 win at Yeovil and the success at Rodney Parade.

On a personal note, though, he knows that he has aspects of his game that he needs to improve upon, to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up.

“There are a few things I can work on,” admitted Kinsella.

“I maybe have to work on my consistency, and maybe get better at going forward.

“And I’d also like to stop picking up so many yellow cards, although that is the way I play, on the front foot.”

Kinsella recognised the impact made by powerful centre-half Ryan Inniss, on his return to the team at Newport following a hamstring injury, and also the benefit of having an in-form keeper like Sam Walker as the last line of defence.

“I think that Ryan (Inniss) has come in and made a massive difference,” insisted Kinsella, with reference to the Crystal Palace loanee.

“And obviously Sam (Walker) has also been excellent the whole season in goal, pulling off massive saves every week so far.

“I think we are getting there, as a team and as a big squad. We are all working together well as a group.

“We have had a lot of injuries, but we are all a hungry group, all waiting for our opportunities.

“Everyone wants to be a part of it, and to be involved. It’s down to them to keep their spot, when they get an opportunity.

“I came in and hopefully have done enough to keep my spot, but it’s football so you don’t know,” added Kinsella

Vincent-Young will not recover from his niggling hamstring in time to figure at Coventry, so Kinsella could retain his place against the Sky Blues, although Drey Wright and Cole Kpewaka are other options.

Wright missed the win at Newport due to a swollen ankle, although he was back in training yesterday showing no ill effects.

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