‘The top seven should be the minimum requirement’ – U’s Dickenson
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Brennan Dickenson is feeling confident, both in terms of his own fitness and in terms of Colchester United’s promotion prospects, going into the last dozen games of the regular season.
Dickenson has largely been employed as a substitute in recent weeks, having battled back from injury but found it difficult to break into a successful team.
The U’s remain in thick of the promotion race, and are currently in sixth spot, although they are seven points adrift of the top three and only two points clear of ninth-placed Tranmere Rovers.
Dickenson has actually featured in 31 of the U’s 46 league matches this season, but his last start was the 3-2 home defeat to Mansfield Town, on January 19.
The 25-year-old, despite his lack of minutes, remains upbeat and is confident that the U’s will finish in the top seven, at the very least.
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He should certainly feature at some time during tomorrow’s League Two test at mid-table Swindon Town.
“We are going to pick each game, one by one. It’s all about staying positive,” said Dickenson.
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“We have to what we have to do, keep cool heads and make sure that we don’t get carried away.
“It might sound a bit boring, but we mustn’t look too far ahead or get too excited. We just have to try and win our last 12 games, and as the gaffer (john McGreal) said – we will take it game-by-game.
“Of course we do celebrate after we win a match, but we then reset and start focusing on the next match.
“We don’t want to waste all that we have achieved in our previous matches this season, so that’s why we don’t get carried away by a win, or when we draw or lose.
“We prepare the same way each week, whether we have won or lost the previous weekend. It’s important not to over-react.
“It’s all so tight in the league, it’s crazy.
“Just one point can take you up four or five places, we must be workmanlike in our approach and keep our feet on the ground,” added Dickenson.
Arriving from Gillingham in the summer of 2016, Dickenson enjoyed a terrific first season with the U’s, scoring 12 goals in 36 league appearances before suffering cruciate ligament damage in April of that season.
He finally returned to action 10 months later, making seven appearances towards the back-end of last term.
“Fitness-wise, I’m feeling great,” said Dickenson.
“I’m feeling very healthy, and I’m feeling very confident.
“Of course I would like to be starting games, but I have got to make sure that I make an impression when I come on in games, which I think I have done.
“I need to be giving the manager food for thought, and I’m pleased with the impact I have made.
“I came on at Northampton (4-0 away win) and had an assist for a goal with virtually my first touch, and last weekend I put in the cross for another assist (for Frankie Kent’s equaliser) against Carlisle (1-1 draw).
“All I can do is continue making an impact – the manager has a difficult enough job as it is, when deciding his team each week.
“Whatever happens, I will give it 100%, whether I play for 90 minutes or play for just 10 minutes.
“Left weekend I came on as a left-back, when Jacko (Ryan Jackson) came off, but I’m just as comfortable in this position as I am as a left winger.
“It’s easy to switch roles.
“The new signings (Ben Stevenson, Abo Eisa and Callum Roberts all arrived on transfer deadline at the end of January) have made things even more competitive.
“It’s certainly one of the most competitive groups since I’ve been at the club, and that’s good for us and good for the club.
“Everyone has fitted in. There is no animosity with any of the new players, we are all sticking together.
“As regards the top three, that will remain a target while it is still mathematically possible.
“The top seven should be the minimum requirement, and that goes for everyone.
“They are all big month, but March is a particularly big month because we have six games, and it also sets you up the final full month of the season,” added Dickenson.