Dunne expects U's to battle the odds

Rise to the challenge - Colchester United midfielder Alex Gilbey battles for a header during the U's 1-1 draw with Bristol City, last September. Picture: WARREN PAGE

Rise to the challenge - Colchester United midfielder Alex Gilbey battles for a header during the U's 1-1 draw with Bristol City, last September. Picture: WARREN PAGE

First published in Sport by

Joe Dunne thinks his Colchester United side will start as underdogs tomorrow - despite being level pegging with opponents Bristol City in the table.

The U’s host the resurgent Robins targeting back-to-back wins at the Weston Homes Community Stadium for the first time since October 2012.

Colchester head into the clash sitting five points above the League One relegation zone, with ten games of the season remaining.

But Bristol City have lost only one of their last eight matches.

And U’s boss Dunne believes those outside of the U’s fraternity will rate the visitors as favourites.

Dunne said: “It’s an incredibly tough game tomorrow and they’ll probably be expected to beat us.

“If you read what they say about us, for everybody who seems to come to Colchester at the moment it’s a three-point game.

“We’ll be little old Col U taking on a big club with a big following."

For more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, including a three-page preview of the U's game with Bristol City, see Friday's Daily Gazette.

Comments (10)

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9:14am Fri 21 Mar 14

totallyfootball says...

Underdogs? I see the foundations for an excuse are down already!
Underdogs? I see the foundations for an excuse are down already! totallyfootball
  • Score: 15

11:38am Fri 21 Mar 14

whoopie says...

Home advantage joe , crowd behind you , come on now onwards and upwards
Home advantage joe , crowd behind you , come on now onwards and upwards whoopie
  • Score: -4

1:15pm Fri 21 Mar 14

angryman!!! says...

I'm sure he saying this as the underdog status is normally a good thing
I'm sure he saying this as the underdog status is normally a good thing angryman!!!
  • Score: 7

1:59pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Noah4x4 says...

Here we go again….. get your moans in before even a ball is kicked..

Bristol City have lost merely twice in the last ten games; and hence taken 18 points from the last 30. Within this period they have beaten Shrewsbury; Leyton Orient and Peterborough AWAY from home. Had they not had such an awful start to the season this is 'play-off' zone form; indeed very close to automatic promotion form.

By contrast, the U’s have secured merely 8 points in the same period. So why is it “getting our excuses in early” to describe Colchester United as the underdogs?
Here we go again….. get your moans in before even a ball is kicked.. Bristol City have lost merely twice in the last ten games; and hence taken 18 points from the last 30. Within this period they have beaten Shrewsbury; Leyton Orient and Peterborough AWAY from home. Had they not had such an awful start to the season this is 'play-off' zone form; indeed very close to automatic promotion form. By contrast, the U’s have secured merely 8 points in the same period. So why is it “getting our excuses in early” to describe Colchester United as the underdogs? Noah4x4
  • Score: -9

2:53pm Fri 21 Mar 14

totallyfootball says...

Expect little and you will never be disappointed!
Expect little and you will never be disappointed! totallyfootball
  • Score: 19

5:23pm Fri 21 Mar 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

Any club coming to play us at the WHCS will expect to beat us because for the last 6 years our home record has been incredibly poor and that needs to change pronto. Hence gates of 2,500 on Tuesday evenings.
Any club coming to play us at the WHCS will expect to beat us because for the last 6 years our home record has been incredibly poor and that needs to change pronto. Hence gates of 2,500 on Tuesday evenings. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 17

6:48pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Noah4x4 says...

BlueandWhiteBaz wrote:
Any club coming to play us at the WHCS will expect to beat us because for the last 6 years our home record has been incredibly poor and that needs to change pronto. Hence gates of 2,500 on Tuesday evenings.
But Baz.....the facts are that AVERAGE gates are 3% higher than last season and also a fraction higher than the AVERAGE of the last four seasons whilst the U's were in Division One at Layer Road. So comparing like for like (e.g. ONLY when in Division One); overall attendances are NOT falling; albeit that (inevitably) we did have some higher crowds in and around our brief flirtation with the Championship.

But you do have a fair point that recent Tuesday night gates of 2,600 are lower than in some previous seasons (which also must mean recent Saturdays have actually been a little better to compensate given the averages). But let's please consider the true reasons why.....

If you look back at the actual data 2009-12; on a past Tuesday night; we were typically entertaining Leyton Orient; Charlton; Daggers; Southend; Brentford; Peterborough and Gillingham. These were ALL local derbies whereby the North Stand was often packed with away fans; even for mid week. That is how we had 4,000+ Tuesday crowds. Against Charlton we once topped 7,000 on a Tuesday.

But none of these TUESDAY local derbies have arisen in the last two seasons except in meaningless cup competitions . This season; Division One has unusually been dominated by teams based north of Birmingham. So let's praise our fans that travel to (say) Wolves or Port Vale (or further) on a Tuesday (as I will next week); and respect the reverse impact that this must have on our home Tuesday gates.

Hence; the major difference is that this season on a wet gloomy Tuesday we have instead been playing Shrewsbury or Rotherham; where their fans have had to travel 300 + miles and we might be lucky to see one bus. Even against the massively supported Sheffield United and Bradford we only got totals of 3,000 and 2,600. But had these matches been played on a Saturday (as scheduled); they would have each brought up to 2,000 away fans; and that is the true Tuesday difference. Indeed; even on a Saturday, it is currently rare to ever see the North Stand open. Never have we had so few local derbies!

One cannot deny that we have probably lost a modest number of HOME fans as a result of "poor performances"; but nowhere near what you and your pals allude. Similarly; in Parky's promotion season we had average gates of merely 300 more than today's average. So whilst in Division One; in periods of success or failure; high or discounted prices; meat or veg pies; no or over zealous stewarding; parking congestion or no on-site parking; full buses; slow buses and no buses and anything else that people in these threads constantly moan about ; these factors have actually had very little effect.on local HOME support.

It's that same hard core of about 2,300 to 2,500 real fans (like me) that follow the U's whether we are playing good or bad; and my guess is that unless we get back into the Championship (or the past local derby's return) this will never change on a Tuesday night such is the shameful apathy of this town towards its football club. By all means moan if you don't like what you see; but please don;'t attribute the same attitude to the vast majority of loyal fans by talking rubbish about fans staying away.
[quote][p][bold]BlueandWhiteBaz[/bold] wrote: Any club coming to play us at the WHCS will expect to beat us because for the last 6 years our home record has been incredibly poor and that needs to change pronto. Hence gates of 2,500 on Tuesday evenings.[/p][/quote]But Baz.....the facts are that AVERAGE gates are 3% higher than last season and also a fraction higher than the AVERAGE of the last four seasons whilst the U's were in Division One at Layer Road. So comparing like for like (e.g. ONLY when in Division One); overall attendances are NOT falling; albeit that (inevitably) we did have some higher crowds in and around our brief flirtation with the Championship. But you do have a fair point that recent Tuesday night gates of 2,600 are lower than in some previous seasons (which also must mean recent Saturdays have actually been a little better to compensate given the averages). But let's please consider the true reasons why..... If you look back at the actual data 2009-12; on a past Tuesday night; we were typically entertaining Leyton Orient; Charlton; Daggers; Southend; Brentford; Peterborough and Gillingham. These were ALL local derbies whereby the North Stand was often packed with away fans; even for mid week. That is how we had 4,000+ Tuesday crowds. Against Charlton we once topped 7,000 on a Tuesday. But none of these TUESDAY local derbies have arisen in the last two seasons except in meaningless cup competitions . This season; Division One has unusually been dominated by teams based north of Birmingham. So let's praise our fans that travel to (say) Wolves or Port Vale (or further) on a Tuesday (as I will next week); and respect the reverse impact that this must have on our home Tuesday gates. Hence; the major difference is that this season on a wet gloomy Tuesday we have instead been playing Shrewsbury or Rotherham; where their fans have had to travel 300 + miles and we might be lucky to see one bus. Even against the massively supported Sheffield United and Bradford we only got totals of 3,000 and 2,600. But had these matches been played on a Saturday (as scheduled); they would have each brought up to 2,000 away fans; and that is the true Tuesday difference. Indeed; even on a Saturday, it is currently rare to ever see the North Stand open. Never have we had so few local derbies! One cannot deny that we have probably lost a modest number of HOME fans as a result of "poor performances"; but nowhere near what you and your pals allude. Similarly; in Parky's promotion season we had average gates of merely 300 more than today's average. So whilst in Division One; in periods of success or failure; high or discounted prices; meat or veg pies; no or over zealous stewarding; parking congestion or no on-site parking; full buses; slow buses and no buses and anything else that people in these threads constantly moan about ; these factors have actually had very little effect.on local HOME support. It's that same hard core of about 2,300 to 2,500 real fans (like me) that follow the U's whether we are playing good or bad; and my guess is that unless we get back into the Championship (or the past local derby's return) this will never change on a Tuesday night such is the shameful apathy of this town towards its football club. By all means moan if you don't like what you see; but please don;'t attribute the same attitude to the vast majority of loyal fans by talking rubbish about fans staying away. Noah4x4
  • Score: -11

9:41am Sat 22 Mar 14

notenough says...

Sorry Noah but this gate averages etc is really boring. I can see by your comments on here and elsewhere you are certainly a U's dedicated supporter.
I must say some of your remarks and other supporters on here are quite insulting. We are all behind the U's and each of us has the right to say what we think about the club.
So less of the barracking each other please.
Sorry Noah but this gate averages etc is really boring. I can see by your comments on here and elsewhere you are certainly a U's dedicated supporter. I must say some of your remarks and other supporters on here are quite insulting. We are all behind the U's and each of us has the right to say what we think about the club. So less of the barracking each other please. notenough
  • Score: 7

12:21pm Sat 22 Mar 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

Noah, just to help prove my point, it is now 18 months since we put together back to back home wins, and you are trying to tell me the club hasn't lost support over this period. Don't believe either the club or you on tis point.
Noah, just to help prove my point, it is now 18 months since we put together back to back home wins, and you are trying to tell me the club hasn't lost support over this period. Don't believe either the club or you on tis point. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 9

3:09pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Noah4x4 says...

BlueandWhiteBaz wrote:
Noah, just to help prove my point, it is now 18 months since we put together back to back home wins, and you are trying to tell me the club hasn't lost support over this period. Don't believe either the club or you on tis point.
At last; a fact that I agree with (e.g. the rate of successive home wins x time); but once again it is being cited as 'proof' of an entirely separate argument that is factually incorrect. .

It's perfectly reasonable for fans that are unhappy to express their negative points of view in these threads. But how is it "insulting" to then correct their blatantly false misuse of data? It's far more insulting to infer that the Football League's auditors are lying about current average attendances at WHCS; which (e.g. if you "DON'T BELIEVE") are higher than the average of our last four season (in Division One) at Layer Road and only marginally below Parky's promotion season. One can see how this perception may prevail as Layer Road was often full. But even if we get a 5,000 + attendance; WHCS seems empty; and frankly it is the number of away fans that create the greatest variance. That's why recent Tuesdays have been so low at 2,600; but home fan support has not diminished significantly.

It's perfectly fair to say that 'Fred X and Bill Y have stopped attending because they don't like Z"; and that is their prerogative; but to quote that anecdotally as evidence of generally 'falling gates' is rubbish. This is simply the nature of football. Some fickle fans are only fair weather; and even some of the most loyal (as I am sure these once were) will ultimately will lose patience in difficult times (notably if cost becomes a factor); whilst others, like me, will follow their team home and away whatever the circumstances.
[quote][p][bold]BlueandWhiteBaz[/bold] wrote: Noah, just to help prove my point, it is now 18 months since we put together back to back home wins, and you are trying to tell me the club hasn't lost support over this period. Don't believe either the club or you on tis point.[/p][/quote]At last; a fact that I agree with (e.g. the rate of successive home wins x time); but once again it is being cited as 'proof' of an entirely separate argument that is factually incorrect. . It's perfectly reasonable for fans that are unhappy to express their negative points of view in these threads. But how is it "insulting" to then correct their blatantly false misuse of data? It's far more insulting to infer that the Football League's auditors are lying about current average attendances at WHCS; which (e.g. if you "DON'T BELIEVE") are higher than the average of our last four season (in Division One) at Layer Road and only marginally below Parky's promotion season. One can see how this perception may prevail as Layer Road was often full. But even if we get a 5,000 + attendance; WHCS seems empty; and frankly it is the number of away fans that create the greatest variance. That's why recent Tuesdays have been so low at 2,600; but home fan support has not diminished significantly. It's perfectly fair to say that 'Fred X and Bill Y have stopped attending because they don't like Z"; and that is their prerogative; but to quote that anecdotally as evidence of generally 'falling gates' is rubbish. This is simply the nature of football. Some fickle fans are only fair weather; and even some of the most loyal (as I am sure these once were) will ultimately will lose patience in difficult times (notably if cost becomes a factor); whilst others, like me, will follow their team home and away whatever the circumstances. Noah4x4
  • Score: -8

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