Gills at start and end of Joe's reign

JOE Dunne will end his reign as Colchester United caretaker manager as he began it, with a game against his old club Gillingham.Dunne is expected to make several changes this evening, for a Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round tie in Kent, due to injuries and the return of a couple of loan players.

Carl Marston

JOE Dunne will end his reign as Colchester United caretaker manager as he began it, with a game against his old club Gillingham.

Dunne is expected to make several changes this evening, for a Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round tie in Kent, due to injuries and the return of a couple of loan players.

Skipper Pat Baldwin and left-back Marc Tierney are set to miss out, due to injuries picked up during Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to second-placed Leeds.


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But defenders John White and Matt Heath, who have returned to the Community Stadium following their respective loan spells at Southend, are expected to figure.

Dunne said: “I am in charge at Gillingham, but after that a new manager will come in.

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“It's amazing that I started against Gillingham (2-1 home league win a fortnight ago), and will end it against Gillingham.

“There will be one or two changes, and injuries mean that it won't be the strongest team we could put out.

“Pat Baldwin and Marc Tierney both picked up knocks, and have not trained due to knee and ankle problems, so they are unlikely to be ready. There would be no point in risking them.

“The (competition) rules state that you need to play at least six regulars in the side, though we don't know whether that ruling applies to John White and Matt Heath, who have both returned from Southend. They should both play. Clive Platt comes back into the team, and Anthony Wordsworth and Matt Lockwood are also in contention.

“It's the whole squad that's going to win us promotion, so this is a chance for the other squad members to take this opportunity,” added Dunne.

In last season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy, the U's advanced through the first three rounds thanks to 1-0 away wins at Millwall, Gillingham and Bournemouth.

But they then bowed out at the southern section semi-final stage, beaten at Luton Town.

U's chairman Robbie Cowling said: “It's an important game for us on Tuesday night and we want to get to Wembley this year if we can.

“We did well in the competition last year and we feel we should have got to Wembley then.”

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