Samson Tovide: Colchester United striker fit again for relegation run-in

Striker Samson Tovide is looking to make an impact for Colchester after returning early from injury to boost their fight against relegation.

Tovide, 20, had surgery after tearing ankle ligaments in a challenge with Crawley Town's Dion Conroy in December.

He made his comeback on Tuesday as Colchester lost 5-4 on penalties to Dagenham & Redbridge in the Essex Senior Cup final, which ended 0-0.

"It's been a long time, 100 and something days, three months," he said.

"It was a good game to come into, a cup final - I knew it was going to be intense so I was just trying to give as much as I could for 45 minutes, try to get a goal and work hard for the team."

Tovide scored five goals in 21 appearances for the U's earlier in the season.

But there was a change of head coach while he was sidelined with Danny Cowley, and his assistant brother Nicky, replacing Matthew Etherington.

"Tuesday was the first time they've properly seen me play. I know how good I can be," Tovide told BBC Essex.

On the injury lay-off, he added: "You've just got to get your head down, focus, do it properly. It was my first injury and I had people around me that supported me the whole way through, even the new managers as well."

Colchester are third from bottom of League Two, above Forest Green Rovers on goal difference and just three points clear of Sutton United.

They have won only one of 10 games since the Cowleys took charge, although seven have ended in draws, and are away to leaders Mansfield Town on Saturday.

"There are 10 big games coming up and it's about everyone giving their all. We're ready for the fight - it's going to be quite tough but we've got a good group.

"Mansfield are top of the league but we fear no-one. It's going to be an intense game but that's what it's all about."