I'm working hard to earn the shirt, says Grimsby Town's Joe Colbeck
JOE Colbeck took his opportunity to stake his claim in the Grimsby Town side on Saturday and now the winger wants to keep his shirt for tomorrow night's clash at Nuneaton.
If Jamie Devitt's illness opened the door for his return to the team, then Colbeck's performance in the Mariners' 1-0 win over AFC Telford flung it wide open.
His superb assist for Richard Brodie's winner was one of many personal highlights for the Yorkshireman who enjoyed what he acknowledged as one of his best games at Blundell Park this season.
The 26-year-old said: "I knew that I needed to go out there and play for my shirt and I think I did well enough to do that – hopefully I'll keep my place.
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"I was pleased with how it went; it was definitely up there in terms of my performances so far for Grimsby.
"I said to myself before the game that I needed to work hard and get up and down the pitch. I knew that if I worked hard enough, things would start happening for me."
On his fellow wide-man's illness, he added: "It's a team game but you always want to play yourself – that's the selfish side of football.
"On Saturday, I was lucky, if I can say that, that Jamie was ill and I got the nod.
"You wouldn't wish it on anyone but if your chance comes, you've got to take it."
Colbeck said the apparent ease with which players are rotated within the Town squad – and still perform well – is a sign of how well the table-topping Mariners are playing.
"It's difficult when you haven't started in a few weeks, especially mentally," he said. "You have to try and keep yourself prepared so that you're ready if and when you get the nod.
"I think the fact that I haven't played in a while but still came in and did ok is a sign of how well the team is doing. Sam Hatton and Woody (Bradley Wood) have had to change around at the back a couple of times and have both done well. The front lads have changed and all the strikers are scoring goals so it's a good sign for us.
"I'm sure it's a bit of a headache for the gaffers because everyone is doing well when they get their chance.
"With all the pitches the way they are at the minute, and the number of games we've got coming up, the managers are going to have to mix things around but we've got good enough players to come in and do well – there isn't really a regular, fixed eleven and that's a good thing, there can always be chopping and changing