‘It’s a massive ask’ – Joe Dunne ahead of Colchester United’s trip to Swindon

Craig Eastmond after an early second half miss at Port Vale on Tuesday night. The U's are in action

Craig Eastmond after an early second half miss at Port Vale on Tuesday night. The U's are in action again at Swindon tomorrow evening. - Credit: Archant

After 24 days with no game, Colchester United are now preparing for their second fixture in the space of just four days.

Manager Joe Dunne was not happy about this Saturday’s away trip to Swindon being brought forward to tomorrow night, to give the Robins more time to prepare for the second leg of their televised Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern area final next Monday.

However, despite Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss at Port Vale, Dunne has faith in his team to improve on their wayward finishing against promotion-chasing Swindon.

“It’s a massive ask, having to play again on Friday night,” admitted Dunne.

“I’m not happy about it. After going so long without a game, and then playing on Tuesday, getting back on the bus to arrive back in the early hours, and then travelling to Swindon on Friday, it’s a big ask.

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“But we will be ready, and Port Vale showed that there was a freshness about some players.

“We didn’t get much notice of the fixture change, just a matter of days.

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“I understand Swindon are live on Sky on Monday night, but that’s not my problem.

“However, we have to be ready to go again.”

Although his team failed to score against Port Vale, Dunne gave a big thumbs up to his attacking players, who rained in shots from all angles.

“I felt we were good at Port Vale,” continued Dunne.

“A lot of our shots were a fraction off target, but the more games we play now, in quick succession, the more that will come back to players.

“We managed to get 90 minutes into Sanchez Watt, while Gavin Massey got some game-time and Freddie Sears looked sharp when he came on.

“I thought my attacking players were very good, and both Marcus (Bean) and Craig (Eastmond) also got forward a lot.

“Generally, after the first 25 minutes we didn’t look like a team who hadn’t played for three weeks.

“We were energetic and very threatening going forward. We really did carry a threat, which really pleased me.

“We did everything bar score, so I’m not too downhearted.

“There’s still a long season ahead of us, with a lot of games to go.”

The U’s are now just four points clear of the relegation zone, following Tuesday night’s results, although they have games in hand over their rivals.

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