COLCHESTER United boss Joe Dunne is focusing on halting his side’s slide down the Legaue One table, starting at AFC Bournemouth tomorrow.

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However, the Irishman has taken time out to praise one of his former bosses, Phil Parkinson, for his achievements in masterminding Bradford City’s Capital One Cup quarter-final success over Arsenal this week.

Parkinson, who famously guided the U’s into the Championship in 2005-06, saw his Bantams side defeat the Gunners after a penalty shoot-out to reach the semi-final stage.

Dunne said: I’m delighted for Phil (Parkinson). He has recruited very well.

“He has one or two players there (at Bradford) that we tried to get, that he took.

“Bradford is a big club with good resources. Phil does what he does very well, and it’s also great to see Bradford reinstated back into the FA Cup.

“Their goal is to get into this division (League One), that’s their goal, and once they do they will be a threat to anyone,” added Dunne.

Dunne retired as a player at Colchester in 2003, the year that Parkinson was appointed manager, due to injury. He became a youth team manager under Parkinson.

Speaking about his own club’s long-term future, Dunne said: “Our goal is to push on and create a club that can challenge, and be solvent for a very long period of time, producing good players.”

The U’s will be without the suspended trio of Gavin Massey, Magnus Okuonghae and Marcus Bean for tomorrow’s visit to Bournemouth, who are unbeaten in 12 matches.

Dunne has added 17-year-olds Tom Lapslie and Macauley Bonne to this weekend’s squad. Midfielder Lapslie and striker Bonne have both impressed for the under-18s and under-21s this season.

An in-form Bonne has scored 17 goals in all competitions for the under-18s, from 13 games, and has also netted twice for the under-21s.

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