Colchester United boss Joe Dunne will not run George Moncur ‘into the ground’

George Moncur, on the ball

George Moncur, on the ball - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

George Moncur has certainly hit the ground running, since his summer loan move from West Ham to Colchester United.

The classy midfielder has already netted a couple of goals, in five senior appearances, and has generally been one of the U’s most creative players.

However, Moncur is not always playing the full 90 minutes in a game, with manager Joe Dunne conscious of the danger of ‘burn-out.’

“George (Moncur) played three games in a week. He is dead on his feet,” explained Dunne, following last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Doncaster Rovers.

The 21-year-old was substituted after 72 minutes against Rovers, having played the whole game in the 2-1 reverse at Notts County just four days earlier.

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Dunne continued: “George has done fine, and I have already said that he has been one of our best players during the start of the season.

“But he has had to get through an incredible amount of work, and the one thing I am not going to do is run the kid into the ground.

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“George is playing a lot of competitive football for the first time in a long time, and the longer he is with us, the more he can play the 90 minutes.

“I thought he did very well (against Doncaster), but I felt he was just running out of steam, so we needed some fresh legs.

“These are exceptionally tough games that we are playing in,” added Dunne.

Moncur has struck up a good understanding with the likes of Alex Gilbey and Marcus Bean in the middle of the park, having crowned his U’s debut with the equaliser in the opening day 2-2 draw against Oldham Athletic, and then scoring again with the opener in the 2-1 defeat at Bristol City.

However, he has not had that much competitive football over the last couple of years, with the exception of a few outings for West Ham’s under-21 development side, and a couple of games for Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premier during the second half of last season.

Although Moncur has been catching the eye, and the U’s have generally been playing well, the bottom line is that Dunne’s men have taken just one point from their first four league games. They currently sit third from bottom of League One, with just Scunthorpe and Crewe below them.

It is a fact that is not lost on the U’s boss, ahead of this Saturday’s home game against second-placed Peterborough.

“I still believe in the players, and the team,” insisted Dunne.

“But the fact is, it is one point from four games. Statistically, I cannot argue with that.

“We have to keep believing in ourselves. It’s only four games down, and there are over 40 games to go.

“It’s not the ideal start to a season, but it’s a start that we have had before and recovered from, so I’m pretty sure we can recover from this one as well.

“I am optimistic that these players can get themselves out of this position.

“We have been in situations a lot harder than this, and got out of it. This is not yet a situation for me,” added Dunne.

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