by Carl Marston
Saturday, November 24, 2012
CLINTON Morrison, more than anyone, could be excused for having a whinge about the manager – but instead, he’s one of his biggest fans!
Summer signing Morrison was dropped from the Colchester United starting line-up, by new manager Joe Dunne, following the Dubliner’s elevation to the hot seat.
And during the intervening two months, Morrison has still been waiting to start a league game under Dunne. Instead, he has been twiddling his thumbs on the bench, while loanee target man Jabo Ibehre has been making a big impact on the pitch.
That will change today, when Morrison makes his long-awaited return to the U’s starting line-up, at third-placed MK Dons, a club he played for during a successful loan stint last year.
Ibehre is ineligible – he is on loan from MK Dons – so Morrison will get the nod.
And the 33-year-old, while looking to take his chance with both hands, has taken time out to praise manager Dunne, despite his own recent inactivity.
“Fair play to the manager, he wants to play football, despite recent results,” insisted Morrison. The U’s have lost four of their last five games.
“He (Dunne) is a brave man. He has waited for this opportunity for a long time, and all of the lads have adapted to his style of play.
“He’s a brave man to play football this way. You need the players, and he has the players, but when results do not go your way, another manager might change and go-back-to-front.
“Imagine me – five or six years ago, if I wasn’t playing as much as I have recently, I wouldn’t be smiley and talking, I’d be raging! So that shows I have a lot of respect for the manager, and the way he treats me and talks to me.
“Other managers before have told me stuff that I wanted to hear, but it wasn’t true. That happens to you and you end up falling out.
“You must have heard about me and my arguments, but I am not that guy anymore. I have changed,” added Morrison.
The ex-Crystal Palace favourite is yet to click into top gear, following his summer switch from Sheffield Wednesday – he has netted just once, in the 1-1 draw against Sheffield United in late August.
But he is raring to go at MK Dons, for whom he scored three goals in six outings during a one-month loan stint a year ago.
“It’s a big chance for me, but a hard one!” admitted Morrison.
“It’s not the first game I would have picked out, for my return. It is a challenge though, and a good one.
“I haven’t really started a proper game since the gaffer brought in a few players. I have been on the bench.
“But the team is getting chances now, which I wasn’t getting earlier in the season. I know if I can get one goal, then I will go on a run.
“Jabo (Ibehre) has led the line well, so I couldn’t bang on the manager’s door.
“It’s up to me to take my opportunity to stake a claim, and put some pressure on Jabo. That would give the manager food for thought,” added Morrison.