Handling the pressure is key to Dunne

Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne - Credit: Archant

Joe Dunne has been satisfied with the six weeks of pre-season, and is content with the make-up of his Colchester United squad, but the real test begins at Gillingham today.

The U’s squad is not too different to last season. Defenders John White and Matt Heath have moved on, as has midfielder John-Joe O’Toole, while loanees Bradley Garmston, Billy Clifford and George Porter will be plying their trade elsewhere this season.

On the plus side, defenders Ryan Dickson and Daniel Pappoe (on loan from Chelsea) have been recruited, and Dunne will be hoping that some of his younger guard, including Alex Gilbey and Drey Wright, will continue to make rapid progress.

“As with the start of every season, there are high expectations, everyone gets excited and there is a hope of what can be,” explained Dunne.

“But let’s get the first game out of the way.

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“I’ve been able to get every idea across, about how I want us to play, during six weeks of intensive work and intensive meetings, and I have told the players of my expectations.

“They now have the opportunity to see if they can do it. I’ve brought players to the club who I think can do it, and encouraged the players already here to be braver with the ball.

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“But you never know until the pressure hits you, and you are put in a pressurized situation,” confirmed Dunne.

The U’s boss has one of the smallest squads in League One, and there are no new additions in the pipeline, but he is happy with his current pool of players.

“As a manager, you are always two players short,” continued Dunne.

“At the moment I have a squad of 20, that’s all we can afford, and that’s all we can get.

“I don’t see any new additions to the team, unless there is a serious need for some.

“Basically, we‘ve spent what we’ve needed to spend, and the budget is gone. We have what we have. It’s a small squad, but I believe it’s a good one.

“There is no leeway for anymore players, but I’m very happy with what we’ve got. I’ve got fierce competition for places, two for every position, and in some cases three,” concluded the U’s boss.

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