Left-back role a priority for U’s boss

Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne

Colchester United boss, Joe Dunne, is happy with his squad, but recognises that gaps still have to be filled.

The Dubliner put his squad through their paces in the first week of pre-season, at a special training camp in his native Ireland over the last week.

Dunne was delighted with the capture of striker Jabo Ibehre, on a two-year contract, earlier last week, representing the U’s second major summer signing, following the arrival of midfielder Craig Eastmond from Arsenal.

But more additions are still required.

“I’m comfortable with the squad, though left-back is a position that needs looking at,” admitted Dunne.

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Club stalwart John White, and West Brom loanee Bradley Garmston, were the two players contesting the left-back slot during the closing months of last season.

But neither are now with the U’s. Garmston returned to the Hawthorns at the end of the season, while White turned down the offer of a new contract earlier in the week.

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The U’s have competition in central defence, with Magnus Okuonghae, Tom Eastman and Josh Thompson vying for two positions, while Brian Wilson has made the right-back role his own in recent seasons.

But the left-side of defence will need strengthening, as will the goalkeeping position, despite Mark Cousins signing a new deal earlier in the month. Dunne still hopes that Sam Walker will return for another loan stint, from Chelsea, after making such a big impression during the second half of last season.

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