SAMSON Tovide is ‘champing at the bit’ to return for Colchester United and help them chalk up their first win of the season, according to boss Ben Garner.

The 19-year-old forward has missed the U’s last three games due to suspension, following his red card against Cardiff City in the Carabao Cup.

Tovide was dismissed following a high challenge on Bluebirds defender Jamilu Collins in the final minutes of Colchester’s first-round tie at the Cardiff City Stadium.

However, the young striker has now served his ban and is raring to go, as the U’s hunt their maiden victory of the new campaign at early League Two leaders Gillingham on Saturday.

Garner said: “Samson’s hungry and can’t wait to get back and that will be a great thing, going into the Gillingham game.

“He’s a really mature young player and he knew straight away that he’d done wrong – it wasn’t malicious, there was no intent, it was just naïve and putting his foot that high in the air, there could be trouble.

“Because he’s so strong, it looked horrendous.

“He’s learnt from it, he’s got good perspective from it and he’s champing at the bit to put it right and get back playing.

“You can see that it’s driving him mad, not being able to get on the pitch but we’ve worked him extra hard in training so that when he comes back, he’s in a good place.

“Then I’m sure he’ll be looking to catch up and make amends, as soon as he can.

“I’m absolutely desperate to get Samson back from his ban because when we’re talking about everything that we were missing [against AFC Wimbledon] in terms of character, fight, grit, determination and spirit, he brings that in abundance, so the sooner we can get him back into the fold, the better.”

Colchester are still on the hunt for a new central midfielder, following the departure of Ossama Ashley in June.

The U’s are hoping to bring in another player in that area to boost their options, ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.

“We’re still a couple of pieces of the jigsaw away from where we want to get to,” added Garner.

“There’s no lack of effort behind the scenes; we’ve been trying for a long period of time and it’s proved the most difficult position.

“But we’ll stay positive and keep working away and hopefully, we can get the players in that we think will complement the squad and most importantly, will take us forward.”