‘The old Brennan Dickenson is coming back’ – John McGreal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 March 2018

Brennan Dickenson battles with defender Hayden White during the U's 1-1 draw at Mansfield on Saturday. Picture: PAGEPIX

Brennan Dickenson battles with defender Hayden White during the U's 1-1 draw at Mansfield on Saturday. Picture: PAGEPIX

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Brennan Dickenson was handed his first Colchester United start for nearly 11 months, following his patient return from a serious knee injury, at Mansfield on Saturday.

Brennan Dickenson applauds the U's travelling fans after the 1-1 draw at Mansfield. Dickenson enjoyed his first start for nearly 11 months, following injury. Picture: PAGEPIXBrennan Dickenson applauds the U's travelling fans after the 1-1 draw at Mansfield. Dickenson enjoyed his first start for nearly 11 months, following injury. Picture: PAGEPIX

And it was certainly good to see Dickenson approaching somewhere near his best form, as a roving left winger, during the 1-1 draw at Field Mill.

The 25-year-old ex-Brighton and Gillingham wide man had made four appearances as a substitute last month, on his patient comeback, before his successful return to the starting line-up against the Stags.

Now boss John McGreal will be hoping that the talented Dickenson can build on this 90 minutes, during the final 10 fixtures of the season.

“Brennan’s got to sharpen up on set pieces and shots,” explained McGreal.

“But to put in a shift that he has done, not only defensively but attacking-wise as well, it’s a credit to how he has managed his injury and how he has come back with his conditioning, to put in a 90 minutes against a strong team.

“The old Brennan Dickenson is coming back. He’s not going to be there yet, but the only way we can do that is by giving him the minutes that he needs. I think that this was a great start for him.

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“He had one chance early on that maybe last season would have gone into the bottom corner or the roof of the net.

“But he’s getting there and it’s no coincidence that we have got good players coming back in, who are giving us that competition.

“They are giving us a platform to try and win games of football,” added McGreal.

Dickenson’s previous start had been back on April 22, 2017, in a 0-0 draw at home to Plymouth.

But he was only one of five changes to the starting line-up at Mansfield, from the side that had flopped in the 1-0 home defeat to basement dwellers Barnet two weeks earlier.

The likes of Sammie Szmodics, Kurtis Guthrie and Tom Lapslie all made successful returns to the side, after stints on the sidelines through injury or being rested.

“I think this has given us a platform to move forward,” confirmed McGreal.

The U’s are down in 13th spot, but are only six points adrift of the top seven, although that could change with the likes of Exeter and Coventry in action tonight.

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