Doogie Remains Optimistic
The U's most experienced player, Karl Duguid, has insisted that as long as the side keep performing how they did last week at Doncaster then there will be no problems with pulling away from the trouble they currently find themselves in.
Ahead of this afternoon's big game with Scunthorpe, Doogie, who has adopted a player-coach role over recent weeks, says that with performances like last Saturday there should be three points this afternoon.
'It's not as tough being around the place as you might think it would be,' he commented to BBC Essex. 'If we start performing badly then it's a problem, but playing like last week isn't a problem at all.
'Saturday was very encouraging and it's not a problem when you're playing like that. We went back to basics a few weeks ago and the last few performances haven't been bad, so we're just getting back to how we were on that winning run.'
Today's game with Scunthorpe has been billed as the biggest of the season so far amongst the local media and throughout the U's fan base, but Karl insists that the players don't necessarily view it in the same way.
'There's pressure on every game,' he continued. 'The media make it more of a pressured game than anyone else as, to us, it's just another football game and the only pressure on us is to perform as well as we did last week.
'If we do that, then I think we will win the game.'
Manager Joe Dunne strengthened his side further yesterday with the addition of Chelsea youngster, Billy Clifford, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder. He follows in the steps of other youngsters Dominic Samuel, Drey Wright, Alex Gilbey, Gavin Massey and Josh Thompson, for example, that has created one of the younger U's sides in memory.
However, Doogie suggests this is simply the way the game has gone today, and that it has its own benefits too.
'It's definitely becoming a young team, especially when you compare it to me!
'But that's football now, you've got players in the Premier League who are still very young men and yet they seem to have been around for ages.
'We've got young, enthusiastic players here with experienced guys around them to help them out, and hopefully that combination can help us to climb back up the table.'
Certainly, that abundance of youth won't be a hindrance to the U's and their efforts to pull themselves away from danger, according to Duguid. The experience within himself, Kem Izzet and Michael Rose, for example, will ensure that the blend is right.
'I've been here before and it's something we all know about. We have experienced guys who have been through this and that can help us get out of it.
'The youngsters just want to get out and play football and so we'll all just get on with it.'
Of those youngsters, Drey Wright has caught the eye more than most, making the left wing berth his own in recent games following an injury to Freddie Sears.
Duguid admits how impressive the 17-year-old has been, and suggests he is set for a big future in the game.
'Drey just gets out there, enjoys himself and expresses himself,' he said. 'That's probably inspired others too who watch him go out and take the bull by the horns, and that's what we did last Saturday.
'He definitely has a big future in the game.
'He's very level-headed, quick, strong, beats a man and can score goals, so we're talking about someone who has everything to be a really good player.
'Drey has the desire to be the best he can be and that's what you need and what he wants; he's producing at the moment and there's no pressure on him.
'He enjoys himself and we enjoy watching him, so hopefully he can keep doing that for us.'
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