Dunne warns - keep the door shut!

THE wolves are at the door!That is the warning issued by Colchester United caretaker boss Joe Dunne, ahead of the transfer window that officially closes on Tuesday.

Carl Marston

THE wolves are at the door!

That is the warning issued by Colchester United caretaker boss Joe Dunne, ahead of the transfer window that officially closes on Tuesday.

The U's may have a fight on their hands to keep their current squad in tact, due to the lack of a permanent manager during this unsettling time.

“The wolves are at the door, and we need to keep them away!” insisted Dunne, on the eve of tomorrow's near sell-out game against Leeds. There were just a few hundred tickets remaining last night.

“When you are in our situation, with all the good players that we have got, and with no manager, I'm sure there will be a lot of clubs looking at what sort of team I pick for Saturday.

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“This is a space in our time with nothing happening, and they'll be looking at us. We have to keep the door closed on them,” added Dunne.

Normal first team coach Dunne has tasted both victory and defeat since he took temporary charge, following ex-manager Paul Lambert's departure to take over at Norwich City.

A 2-1 home win over his old club Gillingham maintained the U's position as league leaders, before a 2-1 defeat at MK Dons last Saturday saw the club drop to third in the table, just one place behind tomorrow's visitors Leeds.

While matters on the pitch have remained upbeat, the lack of a permanent manager has certainly weakened the U's stance in the transfer market, both in terms of players potentially leaving and in trying to bring new ones in.

Dunne has tried to bring in a couple of fresh faces on loan during the week, just as he attempted to before the Dons game, but without success.

“The players we have been targeting want permanent moves,” revealed Dunne.

“These people are waiting for the deadline. They are taking a gamble on waiting to try and get permanent rather than loan deals.

“I'm sure that the new manager will have his own targets, and I have tried not to alter too much over the last two weeks.”

The loss of midfielders Johnnie Jackson (to Notts County) and Dean Hammond (to Southampton) over the last fortnight has reduced the number of options for Dunne, while fellow midfielder David Perkins is also hoping to secure a transfer elsewhere over the next few days.

Dunne confirmed: “David (Perkins) feels that he needs to move back up north, and if that materialises, then good luck to him.

“But he's in my thoughts for Saturday. He's been training as hard as ever.”

Heysham-born Perkins had spent his whole playing career in the north-west, until his switch to Colchester for an undisclosed six-figure fee from Rochdale during the summer of 2008. He had previously played with Morecambe.

The U's will be looking to recoup the transfer money paid out for him, if clubs do come in for Perkins.

Meanwhile, it's a case of one player in, and one player out, for this weekend's squad to face promotion favourites Leeds.

Defender Lee Beevers is a definite non-starter, after dislocating his shoulder during the first half of the defeat in Milton Keynes. Beevers could be out for several weeks, and is currently awaiting the results of a scan to see if he needs an operation.

However, the U's cause will be boosted by the return of striker Clive Platt following a three-match suspension.

Platt missed the games against Yeovil, Gillingham and his old club MK Dons, after being sent off for violent conduct during the dying minutes of the Carling Cup defeat at home to Leyton Orient.

Dunne will choose two from three, with Platt, Kevin Lisbie and Scott Vernon all vying for a starting place in attack.