Joe Dunne hopes packed houses at Colchester United can become the norm

Fans watch the game against Tottenham

Fans watch the game against Tottenham - Credit: Archant

Colchester United manager Joe Dunne believes Friday night’s capacity crowd for the friendly against Tottenham Hotspur can be replicated in a competitive fixture.

The U’s entertain Ipswich Town in their latest high-profile warm-up clash at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday evening, and will be hoping for a similar-sized capacity to the one that recorded against Andre Villas-Boas’ men.

The Spurs game, including a hefty away following, attracted 9,988 people, while the U’s averaged just 3,529 last season.

Town fans are expected to travel in numbers down the A12 for the 7.45pm kick-off and Dunne revealed his delight at seeing the stadium packed with people.

“It was wonderful, there was a whole buzz about the place and I really do believe we will get there,” said Dunne, speaking after the game on Friday.

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“That is what we are aiming for and I think as a club we should be proud of ourselves tonight.

“It was a test for us with new food on the concourses and the different changes that have been made at the club.

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“We are trying to get the product right on the pitch and it would be nice if we could get a few West Ham, a few Tottenham fans, a few Chelsea fans to come along when their teams are up north.

“But that’s down to them. They are used to seeing that kind of (Premier League) football every week, but if they feel they would like a home, there’s one here.”

Meanwhile, Dunne has hailed the return of Chelsea goalkeeper and lifelong Ipswich Town fan Sam Walker for a second loan spell at the club.

The former Northampton loanee spent the second half of last season with the U’s, making 19 appearances, and made an impressive return against Spurs, producing a number of finie saves.

His main rival, Mark Cousins, was also in good form, winning the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award and that bodes well, according to the U’s boss.

“We worked extremely hard to get Sam back and there were a lot of conversations between myself and Chelsea,” said the Irishman.

“Both keepers made good saves (against Spurs) and will push each other.

“Sam felt it was the right moment in his career to extend his stay, get some games and be part of what we are trying to do, and that is a big plus for us.”

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