COLCHESTER United’s beleaguered boss, Joe Dunne, admits that his side are “in a rut.”

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But the Irishman is urging U’s fans to get behind his players, despite the recent dreadful run, to create a positive rather than negative atmosphere at home to high-flying Brentford this afternoon.

“We are in a rut, where nothing goes right for us, and it would be easy to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves,” explained Dunne.

“But what I want the fans to realise is that they’ve got to keep with the players, because characters are different these days.

“We need to stick together, because we have a really tough time coming up.

“We’ve now got an amazing run of fixtures against teams near the top of the league, who are favourites for promotion. We are really going to have to dig in.

“Yet I’ll back my players. Everyone has had a go now – I’ve changed players and I’ve changed systems, and still the result hasn’t come. But it will. We have to believe, and keep pushing.

“I want the fans to turn up on Boxing Day to support the team, and support the players. Whatever they think of me is entirely up to them.”

The U’s have lost eight of their last nine matches, and have lost their last five games on the bounce.

Furthermore, they look set to be without striker Jabo Ibehre this afternoon, due to an abdominal injury.

By contrast, Brentford have won seven and drawn the other two of their last nine league games.

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