Colchester United boss Joe Dunne would rather play the Bees, than has-beens

Colchester United boss, Joe Dunne

Colchester United boss, Joe Dunne - Credit: Su Anderson

Brentford might be the second best team in League One, but Colchester United boss Joe Dunne is glad that the U’s are playing the Bees in their penultimate game of the season.

Impressive Brentford have already wrapped up automatic promotion, with a guaranteed second spot behind champions Wolves.

The West Londoners have the second best defensive record in the division (just 39 goals conceded in 43 games), and have only lost two of their last 13 games.

But that does not faze Dunne, who still has a big task on his hands to engineer a U’s escape from relegation for a second successive season

The U’s, one point clear of the drop zone, entertain Brentford on Saturday before travelling to Walsall on the final day of the season.

“What will help us this weekend is the atmosphere,” explained Dunne.

“I’m quite looking forward to my team playing at the Weston Homes (Community Stadium), because it will be a fullish stadium with a big crowd.

Most Read

“It’s not the same as last year, when we were playing Shrewsbury (0-0 draw in final home game of the season).

“I’ve got to be honest, I’d rather be playing a team that was up there, because nothing is going to be expected from us this weekend, and I think as a group we quite like that,” added Dunne.

The U’s cheated relegation on the last day of last season, thanks to a 2-0 win at Carlisle, and they are unlikely to be mathematically safe from relegation, regardless of Saturday’s result, going into their final game of this campaign at Walsall.

But Dunne believes his U’s side are in a far better shape than their counterparts of 12 months ago.

“I think we are playing better than we were last year. At this stage this year, our performances have been better,” insisted Dunne.

“At the back end of last season we didn’t really create any chances. At times we looked like we were scrapping around for a point.

“But I think this season, certainly in the last few games, I’ve been a lot happier with our performances.

“There is an absolute determination in our squad.

“God knows how many times we have hit the post, and in important games.

“You just want one to fall your way, but we are OK and we must hold our nerve. We can’t be losing our nerve now, we need everyone focused.

“We have all got tough games, and the way things are panning out, it looks like it will possibly go to the final game, perhaps the final play of the game on the final day of the season.

“And if it needs that, so what? We will be ready for it,” added Dunne.

The U’s are 18th in the table, one point clear of fourth-from-bottom Notts County, and three points ahead of third-from-bottom Carlisle, although the Cumbrians have a game in hand.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter