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Jon Waldron: My views on the U's
It's rare for a football manager to display the kind of refreshing humility that Joe Dunne showed in the revealing press conference that followed Colchester United's home defeat against Scunthorpe United.
Dunne always wore his heart on his sleeve as a Colchester player and that is exactly what he is doing as their manager.
The sheer sincerity with which he spoke in his absorbing post-match press conference just minutes after seeing his struggling side succumb to a club record ninth successive league defeat was perhaps as commendable as it was difficult to watch.
But Dunne’s heartfelt revelation that he was considering his future as U’s manager, a dream job he had worked towards for so many years, after less than four months in charge, was both sad and enlightening in equal measure.
He has now been publically backed by U's chairman Robbie Cowling and seldom has there been a more popular appointment as Colchester boss.
Following an unprecedented run of successive defeats – and their position in the bottom four – it is typical of a man who clearly cares so dearly for the U’s that he should offer to fall on his sword before his side does, if it means saving them from what is now inescapably a very realistic threat of relegation.
It is easy to forget that little more than eight weeks have passed since Dunne was nominated as League One manager of the month, having made the most successful start of any U’s boss in terms of wins.
But the loss of players such as Sanchez Watt and Craig Eastmond has proved disastrous, as did the shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Chelmsford City in November.
The U’s have never really recovered from those disappointments and while the bulk of the club’s fans have stayed behind him despite recent results, appreciating his philosophy and what he is trying to do, others have been critical.
Dunne is a proud man who desperately wants to win everything he does.
But he is also a family man and he is no fool.
This weekend, Colchester travel to play fellow strugglers Hartlepool United, who provided the opposition for Dunne’s successful first game in charge.
Perhaps the rematch at Victoria Park against the division’s bottom club might prove the catalyst he needs for a turnaround in fortunes.
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