Captain Magnus keeping a level head

MAGNUS Okuonghae is more than aware of how quickly things can change in football.The mood was bleak at Colchester last Saturday after the U's surrendered a two-goal lead at rock-bottom Stockport, however three days later it was all smiles again after a battling 1-0 win at Yeovil elevated the Essex club back to within three points of the top two.

Stuart Watson

MAGNUS Okuonghae is more than aware of how quickly things can change in football.

The mood was bleak at Colchester last Saturday after the U's surrendered a two-goal lead at rock-bottom Stockport, however three days later it was all smiles again after a battling 1-0 win at Yeovil elevated the Essex club back to within three points of the top two.

Okuonghae has also endured his own personal ups and downs in his first season with the club, enjoying the highs of being handed the captaincy and a new contract to the lows of conceding 12 goals in two games against Preston and Norwich.

“That's how football is,” admitted the 24-year-old, Colchester's only ever-present player this season.

“We were very disappointed after the Stockport game because a few uncharacteristic defensive mistakes helped them get back in the game.

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“Because of the goals conceded I guess the focus was on the defence a little bit more on Tuesday night, but I didn't feel the defence had a point to prove.

“The defence has helped the team win games on many occasions this season and as far as I'm concerned we win as a team and we lose as a team.”

He added: “A lot of people probably wrote us off after the Norwich game and some people are still probably writing us off now.

“There are still 15 games to go though and there are a lot of points to play for.

“We're not getting carried away and we'll keep doing what we have to do.”

Meanwhile, Okuonghae has urged Colchester fans to show some patience over the next two games.

The high-flying U's host Oldham this afternoon before welcoming Brentford to the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday night.

And while Colchester's superb home form means they go into both games as firm favourites, the U's captain has urged an expectant crowd not to get too restless if the goals don't go flying in straight away.

“I think the fans have got to be patient with us now more than ever,” said Okuonghae. “The pitch is not as good as it could be and that plays a big part in how you play.”

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