JOHN Ward, who once reportedly urged his players to study Rudyard Kipling, will not have been pleased by John-Joe O’Toole’s lack of control during Colchester’s draw with Brentford in midweek.
The former Sheffield United midfielder, now suspended for tomorrow’s meeting between the two sides at Bramall Lane, did not keep his head when all about were losing theirs by seeing red towards the end of a feisty but otherwise well-mannered contest.
However in Anthony Wordsworth, whose injury-time equaliser ensured the visitors returned to Essex with a share of spoils, the Colchester manager believes he does possess a talent capable of keeping his emotions in check.
“He’s got that in him,” Ward, speaking after watching the 22-year-old curl home a spectacular free-kick, said. “He’s got that quality in him and he’s showing it more and more.
“I definitely think he’s maturing.
“That effort was quality. No doubt about it.
“I was looking at it from my angle and thinking it was such a long way out that he was going to have to produce something really special.
“But if anyone can in our team, it’s Anthony.”
Ward added: “Anthony kept his cool when it mattered most. That was possibly going to be our last chance to score.
“We are giving some very good games to some very good teams at the moment. Now we have another good team coming up at Sheffield United.”
Wordsworth, who progressed through Colchester’s youth system, is not the only member of Ward’s squad to be singled-out for praise in recent weeks.
Goalkeeper Mark Cousins has also been getting the gold-plated treatment after edging ahead of Ben Williams in their battle for the number one jersey.
“I’ve been delighted with his contribution this season,” said Ward.
“Last season I put Ben back in the side because I felt that was the right thing to do but Mark has the shirt to keep if he keeps on playing the way that he has done.
“The flip side is that it is his to lose as well but he has taken his chance fantastically and good luck to him for that.”
Colchester travel north tonight 14th in the table while United, who were beaten by Huddersfield on Tuesday, are second.