BRENNAN Dickenson is hungry for more Colchester United action after making his first start for nearly a year in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town.

The wide man has endured a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury last April.

However, after making substitute appearances against Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra and Barnet, he was in from the start and managed all 90 minutes at Field Mill.

“It was great to get the start," said the 25-year-old.

“I’ve been working hard and the manager and assistant manager have obviously noticed that and put me in from the start.

“I’m thankful for that after such a long time out and now I need to push on.

“I was tiring towards the end, I’m not going to lie, but it’s always a bonus to get through the whole match.

“I’m just going to get fitter and stronger now.

“Even though it’s strong now, I feel my knee is getting stronger every day.

“With the minutes I’m getting, I’m going to get stronger and keep progressing."

Dickenson, last season's player-of-the-year, felt it was a "massive point" at automatic promotion hopefuls Mansfield.

The Stags took the lead but Brandon Comley's second-half leveller ensured the U's brought a point back to north Essex.

It leaves them 13th in the table - six points adrift of the final play-off place, currently occupied by Lincoln City - heading into Saturday's home match against Yeovil Town.

“I definitely think we had a point to prove after the last two performances and results," added Dickenson.

“They weren’t our standard and neither was the first half against Mansfield but we take the positives out of the second-half performance.

“That’s where we’re at and our work rate and ethic is through the roof, so hopefully we can take the positives and take it onto this weekend.

“It was a massive point and it gives us a platform to build from.

“Hopefully we can keep putting in those performances and keep our standards high.

“Conceding in the first half wasn’t as planned but the boys put in a great effort come the second half and we got our just rewards.

“Congratulations to Coms (Brandon Comley) for his goal and it was a big shift from the boys.

“We felt strong and Walks (Sam Walker) didn’t have too many saves.

“We felt dominant and I had a couple of chances myself that I probably should have done better with and I know that.

“We had other chances but we learn from the mistakes we made and push on and stay positive."