Dunne: 'Victory Well-Deserved'
Joe Dunne has expressed his delight at the U's victory over Walsall this afternoon, a 2-0 win that halts a run of nine defeats and shows the U's some light at the end of the tunnel following a gloomy two months.
Without a win since the 2-0 victory over Bury in November, goals from Jabo Ibehre and Freddie Sears have lifted his side out of the bottom four this evening at the expense of Scunthorpe.
And, speaking to BBC Essex, he says it was well-deserved.
'We had to be very competitive in the first half and, at half-time, we said it would be a good game to win.
'It wasn't great for style or football, but when you're where we are you have to dig in and it was a good performance - I thought it was well deserved, especially in the second half.'
It was a tight, cagier affair in the first half as although chances were few and far between, they were falling at both ends of the pitch. Often it felt as though whoever scored the opener would win the game, and it proved to be the case.
'We played like an away team in the first half,' Dunne reflected. 'David Wright had a great debut marshalling the side in front of the back four, and I don't think the clean sheet is a fluke after some hard work on the organisational side of our game.'
The game changed in the U's favour when Freddie Sears was introduced with a quarter of an hour to play, after many had felt he warranted a place in the starting eleven after a similar substitute appearance against Scunthorpe.
That starting position wasn't far away though, admits Dunne, with the arrival of Wright yesterday only altering those plans at the last minute.
He admitted: 'He [Sears] was close to playing and probably would have, but David [Wright] signing caused a change to the system that we would try and protect the back four.
'It meant I changed the forward line and Jabo [Ibehre] did that great, but Freddie was excellent when he came on.'
The U's now move forward with a trip to fellow strugglers Portsmouth and, irrespective of any form that the U's may or may not be taking into that encounter, there is cause for optimism due to Pompey's woeful form of their own.
Today's win will only cement that optimism, but Dunne isn't getting carried away despite seeing signs that there may be a return to the form shown upon his initial arrival.
'The second goal was a wonderful piece of play,' he continued. 'We were slick and that's how we were when I took over; I thought today we were in and around where I want us to be.
'We won't get carried away as it's still only one win in ten, so we focus and we go again. But when you've been through all of these emotions I think we deserve to enjoy today this evening and worry about next week later.
'It's been a long time coming and I'm so pleased for the fans who were magnificent, for all of the staff who are so supportive and the chairman who talked me out of leaving two weeks ago.
'It's a great response.'
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