Date: 20th April 2013 at 6:26pm
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U’s boss Joe Dunne has slammed his players for a ‘lacklustre’ performance after watching his side draw 0-0 with Shrewsbury Town to take their relegation battle to a final day showdown at Carlisle.

The U’s had their destiny in their hands heading into the game knowing that a win would assure them of survival, but now roll over into the final game with the same permutations on board.

It was a frustrating afternoon all round as the U’s failed to really get going and, speaking to BBC Essex after the game, Dunne was quick to express his emotions.

‘I’m furious and it shouldn’t have come to this,’ he said. ‘We were lacklustre and let fear get in the way. We had a big crowd who rightly booed at the end as we gave them nothing to cheer about.

‘There was a desperation about our play and we looked as though we were waiting for MK Dons to do us a favour, and they didn’t. It’s been in our hands for the past three games and we have picked up one point from nine.

‘It is a big week – are you a League Two player disappearing from the game or a League One player ready to push on?’

Both sides struggled to create chances throughout the match and, towards the end of the ninety minutes, it was the U’s visitors who were looking the more likely to break the deadlock and steal all three points.

Although that never happened, Dunne accepted that his side didn’t deserve to pick up all three points themselves and called on his players to knuckle down in the seven days ahead.

‘We didn’t do enough to win the game; we gave nothing which is unacceptable. We didn’t go and take the game which happens when you have players who aren’t experienced enough, but if you haven’t been here before then tough because you’re in it now.

‘The players will all work very hard this week with no days off – they will work hard as this is a massive game coming up.

‘The fans aired their frustrations today and I understand it, it was justifiable. We made too many wrong decisions and it is infuriating when players don’t go out and play how you would.’

It is a mammoth 630-mile round trip to Cumbria that faces the U’s next weekend in order to seal their survival, and the U’s boss knows that this is not something to see as an advantage.

Despite everything, it remains the U’s to lose and well within their hands but, as Dunne is keen to stress, it has been that way for the past three weeks and they haven’t made the most of that just yet.

He finished: ‘Whatever we get now, we deserve. We need to regroup as there are a lot of jobs on the line next week, but having our last game at Carlisle is not an advantage.

‘Everyone can see the enormity of the game. If we get beat by a couple and Scunthorpe win then we’re down, so we need to go to Carlisle – a place a long, long way away – and pick something up.

‘If we survive on goal difference then we will take it, for sure.’


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