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Dunne issues challenge to his U's players
8:00am Saturday 14th December 2013 in Sport
JOE Dunne has challenged his Colchester United players to seize their opportunity against bottom club Notts County today.
The U’s begin an important month of League One fixtures when they host the struggling Magpies, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Colchester boss Dunne knows that wins against teams in and around them in the table over the coming weeks will set them up nicely for 2014.
And after a fortnight without a fixture, he believes the U’s players are champing at the bit to get some important points on the board.
Dunne said: “We’re determined to give it all we can this month and make sure that we pick up as many points as we possibly can.
“We need 11 leaders out there today because there are no hiding places.
“We’re really determined about it and we’ve put a lot of hard work into these last two weeks.
“It’s been all about the Notts County game and I see a real focus and willingness to grab an opportunity.
“This period represents a good opportunity not just for us but for the teams who are in and around us as well.
“It’s one that we want to take and try and maximize but the focus is keeping distance between us and the teams below us going into January.
“We can bounce right into the top ten over December and my focus has always been to look forward and look ahead.
“We’re looking at positive outcomes from all of these games and if we can’t win them, we certainly don’t want to lose.
“Picking up points at this stage of the season is important, because it gives you momentum going into the new year.”
Dunne insists he has no qualms about starting youngster Tosin Olufemi at right-back today.
With captain Brian Wilson suspended for one match, Olufemi and new loan signing Ben Tozer are vying to take the experienced defender’s place.
Olufemi has not started for Colchester since early September but Dunne said the U’s academy player will be ready, if selected.
Dunne said: “We have options at right-back and whoever I decide to pick in that position today doesn’t fill me with any dread.
“Ben Tozer and Tosin Olufemi are different players but they’re the options I have, along with a system change if I want to do something different in and around the back.
“Tosin offers us speed and good recovery skills, while Ben offers us good defensive experience and is solid.
“Whichever player I pick, they’ll be ready to go.”
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