Dunne Praises Remarkable U's Win
Joe Dunne labelled yesterday's game as a 'remarkable' win for the U's, who battled against a virus, an early sending off and going a goal behind to claw their way back to all three points in a 2-1 win at bottom-side Bury.
All of the talk leading up to the game had been centred around the mystery virus that had depleted the available U's squad for the trip to Greater Manchester, and the U's boss admitted afterwards that half of the team were playing at around fifty-percent fitness.
George Porter was then dismissed in the opening minutes of the game to leave his side up against it but, having successfully turned the goal-deficit on its head, Dunne had nothing but praise for his players.
'It was a remarkable win in every sense of the word,' he told BBC Essex. 'We had five playing today who are only fifty-percent fit, we had to leave five or six back at home but we gave it our all.
'Let's be honest, we rode our luck there but, for all of their chances - and there were a hell of a lot! - we'll take it as the courage we showed deserved something in the end.
'They've hit the bar, the post, we've made great saves and, on another day, we would lose that. But the effort was great, we attacked and once we scored the two goals we thought we'd take a point now to be fair! Everyone was superb.'
Prior to the early dismissal Bury had really started the game at a fast pace and tried to take the game to the U's, with former Layer Road hitman Craig Fagan wasting an early opportunity for the Shakers.
Down to ten men, Fagan made no mistake just before the half-hour mark to open the scoring and, from there, the U's uphill battle was looking much steeper than to begin with.
However, the U's kept to their attacking principles in the five minutes that followed and two goals in a minute from Josh Thompson and Clinton Morrison saw the U's turn the game on its head to establish the 2-1 lead they would go on to preserve for the remaining hour.
'They started really well,' Dunne explained. 'We knew they'd give it their all and haveto win the game and we've conceded goals, so they picked an attacking side and then scored their goal at a good time.
'But our response was superb. We could have felt sorry for ourselves but we showed courage, we forced corners and there was a clinical finish from Clinton which he has done all of his life.
'The players are buzzing at the moment and we'll give them some rest time now. We have a free week and we need it. But I've told them its not over and to keep fighting, as there's seven games to go and twenty-one points to play for.
'We must keep pushing and show the same commitment.'
The three points yesterday capped off a good week for the U's who, despite blowing a 2-0 lead at Coventry in midweek, have still picked up four points on the road in the quest for League One survival.
Dunne knows that it has been a successful week regardless of the two points thrown away on Tuesday night, and he explained his belief that the U's learnt lessons from Tuesday to hold out at Gigg Lane.
He said: 'I said that the point at Coventry would be a point gained and it stood us in good stead for the last ten minutes today.
'It's been a good week for us as that's four points away from home.'
The U's now go into two back-to-back home games before an Easter Monday six-pointer away at Oldham Athletic, and Dunne will want his side to take their resilience from this week into those home fixtures.
MK Dons and Bournemouth are the two sides to visit north Essex, and both have had their wobbles lately. Four points wouldn't be unrealistic from those two home games and, if the U's can do so, then safety will surely be just around the corner.
'Thanks to the travelling fans today,' Dunne concluded. 'I bumped into some outside and I'm so pleased for them.
'It's a big win for them and for all of us, and we will take it and get ready for two difficult home games now.'
For the latest U's news and views, follow us on Twitter