Jon Waldron: My views on the U's

On target - Gavin Massey scored Colchester United's first goal in their 2-2 draw with Bristol City, last Saturday. Picture: LOUISE SMITH (CO90354-19)

On target - Gavin Massey scored Colchester United's first goal in their 2-2 draw with Bristol City, last Saturday. Picture: LOUISE SMITH (CO90354-19)

First published in Sport by

It was a day in which Colchester United’s players and management demonstrated bravery in equal fashion.

In battling back from two goals down to secure a point against Bristol City last Saturday, the U’s players showed commendable character.

And in making his substitutions when he did, U’s boss Joe Dunne was equally bold.

Dunne’s animated reaction after Freddie Sears’ superb equaliser spoke volumes for how he was feeling.

The U’s manager has always worn his heart on his sleeve.

But his jump for joy on the touchline and his telling glance towards the West Stand said much.

Minutes earlier, some U’s fans had called into question Dunne’s decision to substitute Dominic Vose, chanting “you don’t know what you’re doing”.

Vose had enjoyed an impressive game for Colchester.

It was quite understandable that they were disappointed to see their star player withdrawn.

It was nothing against his replacement Macauley Bonne but Colchester fans wanted Vose to stay on the field, particularly after their team had just reduced the deficit.

But despite the howls of derision from some sections of the home support, Dunne’s substitutions late in the game were positive and attacking.

He wanted to try a different system, in an attempt to secure at least a point - and it worked.

Dunne admitted afterwards that you live and die by your decisions when you’re the boss.

“As a manager, you make certain decisions that are unpopular but you have to do that and I accept that,” he said.

Football is a passionate game.

And as seemingly justified as home supporters were to make their feelings known, surely the U’s boss was equally entitled to enjoy his colourful celebration.

Indeed, Dunne will have been feeling particularly satisfied, for his decision-making almost paved the way for an unlikely Colchester win and sets them up nicely for tonight's trip to play leaders Wolves, at Molineux.

Tellingly, he made a point of applauding fans afterwards and duly praised them in his post-match press conference.

The U’s boss knows full well that Colchester need to stay united on and off the field, if they are to safely retain their League One status.

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