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Colchester United boss Dunne believes Peterborough will be a major challenge
12:00am Saturday 26th October 2013 in Sport
JOE Dunne admits Colchester United will face a “major challenge” when they host promotion-chasing Peterborough United today.
But the U’s boss is confident that his injury-hit side can compete avoid a repeat of their Capital One Cup hammering at the hands of Posh.
Colchester will once be missing a host of key players for their game against Darren Ferguson’s side, who sit level on points with Leyton Orient at the top of the League One table.
Posh inflicted upon Joe Dunne’s side their heaviest defeat of the season in August when they won 5-1 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Dunne said: “It’s a major challenge for us and we’ll have to be at our best.
“Everyone is rallying around and trying to do their bit at the moment.
“Peterborough are doing exceptionally well and they possess a lot of quality.
“They possess threats everywhere and I see them as still being a Championship club, much like Wolves.
“I believe they possess three of the best players in the league in Lee Tomlin, Grant McCann and Britt Assombalonga.
“And if you throw Tyrone Barnett and Tommy Rowe into the mix, they have the quality of player to go up.
“They certainly deserve to be where they are in the league and I expect them to be in and around there, come the end of the season.
“I think anyone who finishes ahead of Peterborough and Wolves this season will probably go up as champions.
“It’s all about keeping your best players fit and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that.
“We’re playing against a tough team who deserve to be where they are - they’ve got exceptional players and we will have to be at our maximum.”
Veteran striker Clinton Morrison could be set to start his third game in the space of a week for Colchester.
Morrison is in line to play, with Jabo Ibehre struggling with a hip problem and Freddie Sears ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Morrison has found opportunities hard to come by this season but U’s boss Dunne has been pleased with his contribution.
“Clinton has been patient,” said Dunne, who is expected to hand home debuts to Elliot Lee and Cian Bolger against Peterborough.
“His experience is vast and he has nothing to prove to anybody.
“He’s played in the World Cup and has been a great servant to every club that he’s played for.
“He wants to play and he gets frustrated when he can’t.
“But his body isn’t as young as it used to be and we have to look after him.
“He’s a really good father figure for a lot of my younger players.
“Clinton’s played the game at the highest level and he sees the dangers for young players.
“He’s had his own experiences, in terms of controversy.
“He’s a great guy in the changing room.
“Clinton has taken his opportunity and he’s played two games in a week - we have to give him the right recovery.”
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