No reason for U’s to fear Dean Court trip
COLCHESTER United assistant manager Joe Dunne says the U’s do not fear a trip to a Bournemouth side in scintillating home form.
The newly-promoted Cherries are second in the table thanks largely to five wins and a draw from their opening six home games in League One.
Not only that, but Eddie Howe’s side have averaged three goals a game at Dean Court across those matches, seeing off the likes of Peterborough, Carlisle and MK Dons along the way.
Colchester are yet to taste defeat following six away league matches though and know that victory today would see them leapfrog their hosts in the table.
“We go there full of confidence,” said Dunne. “We went to MK Dons when they were unbeaten at home and didn’t lose and we went to Oldham when they were unbeaten at home and again got a result, so Bournemouth’s unbeaten home record is no major concern to us.”
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U’s boss John Ward has a big decision to make on both his team selection and formation today following last weekend’s come-from-behind 2-1 home win over Notts County. The Essex side found themselves behind and being outplayed in the early stages before Ward brought on Kayode Odejayi as a target man and dropped striker David Mooney deeper, the former scoring twice late on to end a five game winless streak.
“It’s no secret that we’ve played a 4-3-3 formation this season, but it’s a flexible formation and it’s not like we haven’t rotated it like that before,” said Dunne. “We moved players around constantly at Walsall for example.”
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He added: “Kayode has put himself in the frame following his impact last week. We’ve used him as a sub a lot this season and if you analyse the minutes he’s had on the pitch he has always had a shot or made a chance. He certainly gives us a different dimension.”
The U’s main injury worry today is Magnus Okuonghae. The defender missed last weekend’s game after aggravating an ankle injury in training and is rated as ‘touch-and-go’.
Fellow centre-back Pat Baldwin could make the bench after playing 120 minutes in the midweek Essex Senior Cup defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge following a five-week lay off with an ankle injury, while today’s game is likely to be too soon for Marc Tierney despite the left-back having trained all week following a shoulder problem.
Bournemouth have been playing with a similarly flexible 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation this season and are likely to stick with the same side as the one which drew 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
– Two page match preview in today’s EADT. For live match updates from Dean Court, follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com.