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Jon Waldron: My views on the U's
Joe Dunne politely declined the invitation to wave at Colchester United’s fans during his first game in charge, despite plenty of light-hearted requests.
But the satisfaction evident in his salute towards the vocal supporters in the South Stand at full-time was visible for all to see, after getting his reign as U’s boss off to a winning start.
From the very start of the U’s game against Hartlepool United, the home fans chant of “Joey Dunne’s blue and white army” was perhaps affirmation of their collective acceptance of chairman Robbie Cowling’s decision to dispense of John Ward and install Dunne as manager.
Always tenacious as a player, Dunne wasted no time in showing his passion in the technical area.
Looking smart in his U’s blazer, he prowled the touchline and was quick to bark orders at his players as was his assistant Mark Kinsella, back at the club where it all started for him in England.
Both clapped and encouraged their side throughout, congratulating their players on their enterprise and lifting their spirits if they made a mistake.
There were also subtle changes that saw him depart from the Ward regime, such as the U’s substitutes being put through their paces by fitness coach David Carolan with running drills at half-time as opposed to the more familiar ball work.
Dunne is undoubtedly determined to do things his own way.
He is acutely aware that as enjoyable as victory over Hartlepool was in his first game in charge, it is only one match.
There will be stiffer challenges to come and the U’s three successive away games coming up will offer more of an indication of what they might achieve this season.
But this was a great way for Dunne to start his reign as Colchester manager and not even a soaking from the sprinklers could dampen his mood.
His thumbs up towards the U’s supporters at the final whistle said it all.