Writer: Colchester Dan
Date:Thursday May 2 2013
U's chairman Robbie Cowling admits that he is pleased that the side have pulled through a 'transitional year', but that he is hoping next season is an opportunity to push onwards up the League One table.
Plenty has changed at the U's over the last twelve months, with the switch to the new training facilities in Tiptree, a change of manager and a leaning towards the burgeoning youth system at the club.
With investment in the side having to decrease, the campaign was always going to be more of a struggle than the recent top ten and, although it was perhaps more testing than hoped, there is plenty of optimism for next season.
Speaking to BBC Essex, Mr Cowling said: 'It means so much to stay in this league. We're in a transition, but it was important to keep our status so that we can push on from on here.
'When it really mattered, credit to Joe and the team as they went out and did what they had to, and you can't ask for more than that. We've had the transitional year now though, and let's hope that we can push on a bit.'
The U's went into the game at Carlisle knowing that just a point would guarantee their League One status, and when Tom Eastman headed home a second goal with ten minutes remaining, the U's were home and dry.
Greg Abbott's hosts had failed to test the U's who looked comfortable and, with Swindon winning at Scunthorpe at the time too, it looked like game over.
However, three late, late goals from Scunny secured them the 3-1 win that would have been enough to overturn Dunne's men had they lost, and Mr Cowling admits that he was always wary of something going dramatically wrong.
'Even though it needed a big turnaround, you're still trying to work out the maths,' he revealed to BBC Essex. 'Even in the last few minutes, I couldn't breathe easily.
'The Scunthorpe game shows how quickly it can change as they got their turnaround, and it just shows that what the boys did was needed, so well done to them.'
It's been a testing first season for the U's manager, who even admitted that he was considering his future after a club record ninth successive defeat towards the end of January.
But Dunne received thorough backing from his chairman and, looking back on the situation, he admits that the U's boss makes it far easier to back him than most.
'When you have somebody prepared to work hard, then you're prepared to back them,' Mr Cowling explained. 'I think Joe and I work well as a team, and Joe is the hardest working manager that I've ever known, and one of the hardest working people I've ever known.'
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Date:Thursday May 2 2013
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