Danns hopes for happy ending

COLCHESTER United's FA Cup hero Neil Danns has described this season as being a “fairytale,” with hopefully a very happy ending.Danns fired home two goals to dump dreadful Derby County out of the FA Cup, in front of a sell-out crowd at Layer Road on Saturday.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's FA Cup hero Neil Danns has described this season as being a “fairytale,” with hopefully a very happy ending.

Danns fired home two goals to dump dreadful Derby County out of the FA Cup, in front of a sell-out crowd at Layer Road on Saturday. Danns bagged a brace in the 44th and 52nd minutes to set the U's on their way to a 3-1 victory.

United are now through to the last 16 of the FA Cup, and have extended their amazing winning run to 18 victories from their last 20 matches. For the second time this season, they have also chalked up a club record equalling eight wins on the trot.


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Danns probably wishes that the month of January would never end. He has scored seven goals this month, and has now totalled 13 for the season, an impressive record for a midfielder!

Away from football, the Liverpool-born 23-year-old celebrated the birth of his first child, Jayden, on the eve of the U's 3-2 victory over Bristol City.

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“I'm over the moon. What another brilliant performance!” enthused a beaming Danns on Saturday evening.

“The confidence and belief in the squad is excellent at the moment. Derby may be in a higher division, but in our eyes this wasn't a Cup upset, because we all knew what we've been capable of this season.

“There are a lot of talented players in our dressing room. And when you combines these talents with hard work, you tend to get the results.

“Confidence breed confidence. It's been a fairytale season so far, and we just want to keep it going,” added Danns.

Former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Danns has proved a big hit at Layer Road, since his move from Ewood Park in the autumn of 2004.

Signing the bustling Danns has proved a real coup for manager Phil Parkinson. Now the U's boss will be hoping that he can hold onto his talented midfield maestro, beyond this week's transfer deadline.

“The goals keep coming thick and fast for me,” continued Danns, who once had a spell as a striker during his youth team days at Blackburn.

“I've now scored 13 goals, which isn't bad when considered that I missed several games through injury earlier in the season!

“My two goals today were not classics. I didn't see my first one go in. But I didn't need to. I automatically thought that it was a goal, and turned away to celebrate just as the fans were starting to cheer.

“For my second goal, the ball sat up nicely for me. Luckily, it curled in at the far post.

“We deserved the win. It was absolutely freezing out there, and several lads could hardly feel their feet. But we competed the hardest, and had that little extra bit of quality.

“We have come so far since last season. We are now grinding out the wins,” added Danns.

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