IF HE could have his time again, Harry Pritchard would have pulled the trigger.

Having forced the panic in the Colchester ranks, a sight of goal suddenly appeared for the City attacker.

But instead of having a crack himself, Pritchard instead opted to pick out Dylan Connolly.

The pass was a fraction behind the Irishman who could not get it out of his feet and a big opportunity had gone begging.

“I definitely should have shot,” admitted Pritchard. “Nine times out of 10 I would have done.

“Maybe you could put it down to the speed that it came. I’d only just come on the pitch.

“It was 100 mph, 30 seconds after coming on and I’d not played for six games.

“If I was on for a bit longer I would have shot but we’ll never know.”

That slight frustration aside, Pritchard is delighted to be back in the fray again. Since feeling his back twinge while warming up at Carlisle on Boxing Day, it’s been a frustrating spell for a player who has become an integral part of Gary Bowyer’s squad.

Pritchard added: “It was really disappointing because I ended up missing six games in those three weeks.

“There was a lot of football that I missed. But on the plus side, it was only three weeks so fitness-wise I still feel sharp.

“The back feels better, it’s stronger and I’m happy to be out on the pitch again. I’ve just got to keep up with the hard work on and off the field.

“It was a similar situation to when it went against Crawley at home after I’d scored. I just jarred it and it went into spasm.

“Obviously, you’ve got to treat it quite seriously because it’s a back problem. It’s not a little injury you can just run off.

“You have to wait for it to heal and do the right things in the gym to make it stronger.

“I’m doing pilates now once a week so it seems to be working.”

Pilates, a form of exercise similar to yoga, strengthens the body with an emphasis on core strength. Pritchard was apprehensive at first but can feel the difference from his bending and stretching.

“I’ve never done it before but I like a challenge,” he added. “It’s hard but it seems to be working.

“It’s strange but you get used to that. If it keeps me fit, I’m happy to do it every week.”

City’s stalemate at Colchester was their fifth in six on the road as the three-month wait for another away win goes on.

But Pritchard viewed IT as a good point as they prepare to try again with this weekend’s visit to Mansfield.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough game. We’d done our homework on how well they have been doing.

“We could probably have won the game towards the end with my chance and Chris Taylor hitting the crossbar.

“But Colchester haven’t lost at home for three months so we’ll take a point.

“The league has been tight all season. You lose two and drop all the way down, win two and fly right back up.

“You need to keep ticking over, picking points up wherever you can – we’re doing well to be where we are.

“We’re going to find some wins and we’ll be flying back up the table again.”

Pritchard is pushing for his first start since December 20 and expects Bowyer to keep shuffling his pack through another busy spell.

He said: “Games are coming thick and fast again but we’ve got a big squad and we can use that. It’s good to have at this time of year.

“We’ll probably look to rotate the players again in the next few weeks like we have done in the last two games.

“You’ve just got to make sure you are working hard in training and earn that right to be back in the team.”