COLCHESTER manager Joe Dunne believes he now has the players available to make the tactical changes within games that he needs to achieve success in League One this year.
The U’s head into today’s home game against Gillingham sitting just four points outside the top 10 and finally seem to have overcome the injury nightmares that have plagued their campaign so far.
Dunne said it is only Josh Thompson and Drew Wright who are keeping physio Tony Flynn busy now and having his squad fit means he will have greater scope to make tactical impacts during games.
He said: “It is a boost for any club to get players of good ability back into the squad. That’s what has happened over Christmas.
“We didn’t quite perform in the second half against Crewe, but in the other games, we have shown good resilience.
“Now we are in a position where we can adapt our tactics within a game.
“We can decide if we want to go all-out attack or sit back and defend a position.
“We have options to do that and we also have good impact from the bench, which is crucial.
“There are certain games we have lost this season where the major factor has been the opposition being able to bring on different types of players. It can hurt any team and we’re now in a stronger position in terms of getting players back fit.
“We now have good competition for places and it allows me to tweak tactics.
“In this season’s run-in, we will have to pick different types of teams to maximise points.”
Dunne added: “We’re not going to win every game, but I believe we have enough to unlock things if we need to now.
“We’ve got players coming back in like Sanchez (Watt) and Freddie (Sears), and they may be a couple of weeks away from what I’d call proper match fitness, but when we get to the end of January we will be going up.
“It’s not like I’m flogging any dead horses now.
“I’m not having to say to them ‘come on, get up and go again’, but there was a period of games back in November when we had a really young squad.
“We were resilient and were picking up points away from home, but I was having to say ‘come on lads’ all the time.
“I felt we deserved a lot of credit for picking up points in a difficult period.
“The Notts County game was probably the final one where we were in that situation.
“But now we are finally back and have picked up seven points since then.”
Meanwhile, Dunne said that Colchester have offered a contract extension to right-sided midfielder Dominic Vos until the end of the season.