What a transformation – in just one week!
COLCHESTER United correspondent Carl Marston casts his eye over a dream first week for new U’s boss Joe Dunne.
COLCHESTER United have come a very long way, in a very short space of time, under new manager Joe Dunne.
An exuberant Dunne has only been in the U’s hot seat for a week, but already the Dubliner has stamped his authority on the team.
Taking over the managerial reins full-time last Thursday, in succession to John Ward, he inherited a side who had just endured the worst start to a season in the club’s history.
No wins in eight league games, and just one victory in 23, had left the U’s rooted in the bottom four and wondering when, if ever, the tide would turn.
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Well, Dunne has changed the whole outlook of the club, in just seven days.
Two wins out of two, at home to struggling Hartlepool and away at in-form Swindon, has lifted the gloom at the Community Stadium.
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Previous boss Ward, after two successive top 10 finishes, had taken the U’s so far. But now Dunne is ready to take the Essex club a step further. It’s high octane entertainment.
So fluent in the 3-1 win against Hartlepool, boosted by a brace from new signing Jabo Ibehre and a first goal for the club by Gavin Massey, the U’s produced a gutsy away display at Swindon on Tuesday night, topped by Michael Rose’s 69th minute winner.
So with the exception of the manager, what has changed so dramatically to spark this revival?
The arrivals of the terrific trio – loanees Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt and Ibehre – have been key, especially as their presence seems to have the brought the best out of the likes of Massey, Anthony Wordsworth and Marcus Bean.
But the style of play has also changed. The U’s have upped their tempo, with slicker passing and quicker movement. They are no longer on the back foot.
The future is bright.