Baldwin`s Future Still In Balance
Pat Baldwin`s unceremonious fall from contention under now Coventry manager Aidy Boothroyd last season has left him reluctant to commit his future to Colchester United.
The long-serving U`s defender was loaned to Bristol Rovers and Southend respectively in the term just ended and those spells that have obviously forced him to re-evaluate the once unwavering loyalty shown to the Essex side.
That he has gone from indispensible skipper of the U`s to performing the same armband role their arch rivals inside nine months is emblematic of the change.
He told the official site this week: " I`m not really worried at all where I go - at the end of the day, your career is so short that I just what to go and play as many games as I can, because that`s what I love doing, playing on a Saturday. I just want to play football, I`m not worried about where I am."
Baldwin, formally the epitome of a fan in club colours during his distinctive service for United since joining from Chelsea as a trainee eight years ago, also said that he quite "surprised himself" at his adaptability to new surroundings , even that he "enjoyed" the experience.
The player also thanked Paul Trollope Steve Tilson for giving him games with thier sides as Colchester tried twice to sell him.
Rewind a year and Baldwin was weighing up an improved contract as his old deal ran down, with Charlton Athletic reputedly hovering. He duly signed, stating at the time how he could never see himself turning out of another team.
Now, that`s changed - he was recalled in January for the infamous Norwich City home defeat to Paul Lambert`s men for what looked like a farewell cameo appearance but was lucklessly at fault for one of the goals in a thumping reverse.
"I`ll be honest - I`m glad it`s over and hopefully I`ll have a permanent home at the start of the season to crack on, work hard and try and play some more football. At the moment, I`m contracted to Colchester," he explained.
Candid on the future, Baldwin`s position in the team is polarised with some labelling his style that of a 'Row Z` merchant, while others are still ready to adorn him with the nickname 'Rio,` a moniker inherited due to early comparisons with Manchester United and England star, Rio Ferdinand.
Much will depend of course on who the side appoint as Boothroyd`s successor, but Baldwin however also stated that he is open to offers may decide his own future in the close season irrespective of Colchester United`s next managerial announcement.
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