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My views on the U's
JOE Dunne was in mesmerising form during his post-match press conference at Bramall Lane.
Rightly so. He had plenty to crow about.
The U’s boss was clearly buoyed after watching his side secure an eye-catching point.
But just as pleasing as the draw itself was the manner in which it was gleaned.
This single game, and some of the incidents within it, encapsulated the positivity he is trying to instil.
The first obvious example was his choice of personnel and formation.
Sheffield United will be one of the strongest sides in the division, especially at home, and many opposing teams will put the emphasis squarely on solidity.
Not Colchester, despite conceding early goals and crashing 3-0 on their previous two visits to Bramall Lane.
Dunne stuck to his guns by fielding a very attacking team and his four-two-three-one formation worked a treat.
True, they didn’t create as much as he would have liked but they frustrated their hosts with plenty of possession and by retaining the ball high up the pitch, they alleviated pressure on their back four.
The second striking trait was the team’s resilience.
Although never truly under the cosh, perhaps with the exception of the last few minutes, the players’ positivity and mental steel, working tirelessly to grind out a point, was genuinely impressive.
After conceding in such unfortunate circumstances, seconds before the break, a more fragile outfit might have crumbled in the second half.
Dunne himself admitted his team may have lost this time last year.
But the fact they didn’t, and rarely looked like surrendering their point, again showed real progress.
The third observation followed the U’s goal – the execution, but also the build up. It typified the manager’s positivity.
Colchester left three men forward for the Blades’ corner – Sanchez Watt, Freddie Sears and Gavin Massey.
Then, when the flag-kick came to nothing, David Wright could have been forgiven for smashing the ball into Row Z.
Instead, he had the composure and presence of mind to look up and play the ball out of defence.
What then followed in the seconds when a perfect example of slick, quick, counter-attacking football.
We’re still in the first month of the season and it would be foolish to get carried away.
Three league games is nothing in a campaign of 46 matches.
However, U’s fans certainly have cause for optimism.
For obvious reasons – three games unbeaten, seven points and just one goal conceded.
But also as a result of the positive traits, character and style on show at Bramall Lane.
It’s a work in progress, but certainly bodes well.
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