Gerken earns praise of both managers
BOTH managers described Dean Gerken's two late saves as “world class” following a Boxing Day draw at Layer Road.Southampton boss George Burley, who was the manager of Colchester United for six months in 1994, praised opposing keeper Gerken for his heroics to deny both substitute Grzegorz Rasiak and defender Andrew Davies in the closing minutes.
By Carl Marston
BOTH managers described Dean Gerken's two late saves as “world class” following a Boxing Day draw at Layer Road.
Southampton boss George Burley, who was the manager of Colchester United for six months in 1994, praised opposing keeper Gerken for his heroics to deny both substitute Grzegorz Rasiak and defender Andrew Davies in the closing minutes.
“You have to give young Dean (Gerken) some credit. He made two or three world-class saves,” admitted Burley.
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“But for him we would have won this game. I consider it to be two points dropped, and we're certainly disappointed not to be coming away with the win.
“I thought we should have had a clear penalty (for hand-ball). In fact, the decisions went against us all afternoon, and our keeper (Kelvin Davis) hardly had to make a save.
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“I thought we sat back too much for the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first-half, and Colchester then got their goal at the start of the second-half.
“After that I thought we dominated the match,” added Saints boss Burley, who had resigned as U's boss on Christmas Eve, 1994, to take over the manager's job at Ipswich.
U's manager Geraint Williams echoed the sentiments of Burley - at least in terms of praise for his keeper Gerken.
“I think that the term 'world-class' is an over-used phrase, but it's an appropriate one on this occasion,” said Williams.
“I agree with George (Burley). Dean's saves were world-class. They earned us a point. I also think that we have improved defensively over the last few games.
“And we could have nicked it at the end. Jacko (Johnnie Jackson) headed the ball into the turf, but their keeper managed to divert it over the bar.
“That could have got us the victory, although I'm sure that George would have felt hard done by if that had gone in.
“We're disappointed with their goal. Their striker (Stern John) had tried to score, only to completely mishit the shot, which gave their lad (Jhon Viafara) a simple tap-in.
“However, we showed good character to come back. Clive Platt was a handful all afternoon, and he took his goal well. It was a well-worked goal.
“Southampton had chances later in the game, but then that is always going to happen when they have the luxury of being able to bring on a £2million-rated substitute (Rasiak). He had one great header that was well saved.
“Dean (Gerken) made some superb saves, but these things need to happen if we are to get ourselves out of the bottom three,” added Williams.