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Okuonghae is happy with defensive partnership at the U's
Magnus Okuonghae has had numerous central defensive partners during his Colchester United career.
Since arriving from Dagenham and Redbridge back in 2008, the number of players he has linked up with at the heart of the U’s defence has been plentiful.
Tom Eastman’s ankle injury has led to loanee Matt Taylor becoming the latest in a long line of centre-backs to play alongside Okuonghae.
The pair will line up together against Wolves today having quickly struck up a productive partnership over the last two games, something the powerful defender never doubted.
Okuonghae said: “All of the defenders I’ve played alongside since I’ve been at Colchester have been of a very good quality and Matt is no exception.
“He’s won promotion from League One and there was no question as to whether or not he could do the job.
“Since Paul Reid, I’ve always played alongside someone younger than me at Colchester.
“It does make a difference, perhaps more psychologically than anything else.
“There’s a slight difference but it takes a lot of different ingredients to make a team.
“All centre-halves have an understanding and you can build that up through just training together.
“It’s nice to have a bit of consistency and me and Easty have played quite a few games alongside each other.
“But there’s no issue with other players coming in.”
Okuonghae will come up against one of his former defensive partners today when Colchester host Wolves.
Danny Batth made 18 appearances for the U’s – the majority of which came alongside Okuonghae – during a loan spell from Molineux in the 2009-10 season.
“We had a very good run together,” said Okuonghae.
“We had about six or seven clean sheets on the bounce when we played alongside each other.
“We had a very enjoyable time and credit to Aidy Boothroyd who came in and gave Danny his chance and he gave me my chance, so to speak.
“He gave us a lot of responsibility that year and I think that we enjoyed it.
“I always thought that Danny would go on to play for Wolves and good luck to him.
“We’ll probably talk after the game but during the game, we won’t be friends.”
Meanwhile, Okuonghae says he is looking forward to playing in front of a bumper crowd at the Weston Homes Community Stadium today.
A gate in the region of 7,000 is expected for the Wolves clash and Okuonghae said: “It makes a massive difference when the stadium is a bit fuller, in terms of atmosphere.
“It gives both sets of players a lift.
“The boys are all looking forward to it and it’s one of the games you look at when the fixture list comes out.”
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