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Jon Waldron: My views on the U's
Jabo Ibehre is fast becoming a Colchester United hero.
And if the popular striker helps to keep them in League One, he could well elevate himself into legendary status for the U’s.
Ibehre’s name was sung heartily by the travelling Colchester fans as they rejoiced in their victory at Stevenage, on Saturday.
Since scoring twice against Hartlepool United on his debut for the U’s back in September in Joe Dunne’s first match in charge, the experienced forward has endeared himself to the club’s fans with his committed and all-action displays.
The 30-year-old’s positivity and attitude is infectious.
And his willingness to work hard for the side has already played a big part in Colchester’s on-going battle for survival.
Indeed, such is Ibehre’s apparent desire to cover every blade of grass for the good of the U’s, their supporters’ playful suggestion that the striker plays where he wants on the field is not far from the truth.
Of course, U’s manager Joe Dunne would presumably like to think that Ibehre’s performances are somewhat more disciplined than that chant suggests.
But the sentiment rings true, for Ibehre’s game is not just about his effectiveness in front of goal.
He certainly knows where the net is, though.
Ibehre’s headed goal against Stevenage was of the highest quality while his second bore the instinctive qualities of a forward who was in the right place at the right time.
Admittedly, goals have not always been easy to come by for Ibehre since his move from MK Dons, who might now be regretting allowing the striker to leave for pastures new following their recent decline.
But he has now hit seven goals this season and with his strike partner Freddie Sears with eight of his own under his belt, a blossoming partnership is beginning to flourish for the U’s.
Dunne had been desperate to secure Ibehre’s services for a second spell and made him his top transfer target, after the striker’s loan finished in January.
With his character and performances playing an integral part in Colchester’s survival bid, it is easy to see why.