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'We need to be better than where we are' - Colchester boss Joe Dunne ahead of Crewe game.

Colchester United manager Joe Dunne believes his team should be higher up the table as they scrap for League One survival. The U's are just two points ahead of the bottom four ahead of their game with Crewe. Only goal difference separates the two clubs, with the U's two places above in 18th.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Gresty Road, Dunne said 'No one's happy to be in the position where we are, and we get to this situation where its still in our hands to avoid relegation. Its not in my DNA to keep hanging on and hanging on. As a group we should be better than where we are'.

Colchester United loanee Luke Garbutt returns to Everton

Luke Garbutt has returned to Everton. Credit: PA

Everton have recalled left-back Luke Garbutt from his loan spell at Colchester United, following a serious injury to Bryan Oviedo.

Costa Rica international Oviedo suffered a horrific double leg break in Saturday's FA Cup win over Stevenage, and the Toffees have now taken the decision to bring back Garbutt as cover for Leighton Baines.

Bryan Oviedo receives treatment during Saturday's win over Stevenage. Credit: PA

Garbutt was a regular during his time in Essex, making 20 appearances and scoring three times.

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Colchester United secure permanent Sam Walker deal

Sam Walker has signed a permanent deal with Colchester United. Credit: PA

Colchester United have signed Chelsea goalkeeper Sam Walker on an 18-month contract.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed two successful loan spells in Essex, with his latest stint ending after last weekend's impressive 4-2 win over Carlisle United.

"I'm delighted that we've signed Sam (Walker) for the next 18 months," manager Joe Dunne told the club's official website.

"He is another young and hungry young footballer who has decided to come here and play, which is great testament to what we are doing here at Colchester United."

Bond leaves U's

Andy Bond leaves U's Credit: PA

Colchester United have announced that midfielder Andy Bond has left the club.

Bond made 128 appearances for the U's and scored 13 goals. The 27-year-old, who joined the club in 2010, has had his contract terminated by mutual consent.

More details on the club website.

Colchester United seal Luke Garbutt extension

Luke Garbutt has extended his loan spell at Colchester United by a further month. Credit: PA

Colchester United have extended Luke Garbutt's loan spell from Everton by a further month.

The 20-year-old was due to return to Goodison Park after his previous agreement expired last weekend, but the Toffees have now granted permission for him to stay until early February.

The U's were desperate to keep the talented full-back, who has made 18 appearances since initially joining in September.

"It's great that we have been able to extend Luke's time here," manager Joe Dunne told the club's official website.

"He has shown his qualities in his time here, both defensively and when he attacks, and we were obviously keen to keep him longer.

"I'd like to thank Everton for allowing it to happen and I'd like to think that we've given him valuable experience and development towards becoming a Premier League player for them."

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Colchester loanee Elliot Lee returns to West Ham

Colchester United loanee Elliot Lee has retuned to West Ham. Credit: PA

Colchester United loanee Elliot Lee has returned to parent club West Ham after the completion of his loan deal.

The youngster joined the U's last month and went on to make four appearances for the League One club during his time in Essex.

His only goal for Joe Dunne's side couldn't have come in more dramatic fashion as he hit an injury time equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Rotherham United three weeks ago.

Everton loanee to stay with U's until new year

Everton youngster Luke Garbutt has extended his loan spell with Colchester United for a second time. Credit: PA

Everton youngster Luke Garbutt has extended his loan spell with Colchester United for a second time, and will now stay in Essex until 4 January.

Garbutt and been a regular member of Joe Dunne's side since initially joining in September, and the 20-year-old scored his first goal for the U's in last weekend's FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United.

He'll miss Saturday's clash with Swindon Town but will be available for all of Colchester's festive fixtures as they look to push themselves up the League One table.

U's boss concerned about attendances

Colchester United manager Joe Dunne admits that he is concerned about the club's falling attendances but says that he can understand why some supporters can't afford to watch.

A crowd of just over 2,500 were present to watch last week's FA Cup exit to Sheffield United, but the U's will be hoping for greater backing this weekend when they host play-off chasing Swindon Town.

U's loanee recalled as Ipswich youngster heads to Gillingham

Jeffrey Monakana has been recalled by parent club Preston North End. Credit: PA

Colchester United loanee Jeffrey Monakana has been recalled by parent club Preston North End.

The 20-year-old winger made an impressive contribution during his time in Essex, scoring on his debut against Bradford City in September and going on to to make nine appearances for the U's in total.

Monakana will now hope to force his way into the starting line-up at Deepdale, with promotion-chasing Preston currently sitting in fourth place in League One.

Elliott Hewitt will spend the next month at Gillingham. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Ipswich Town youngster Elliott Hewitt has signed for Gillingham on a 28-day loan deal.

The Wales under-21 international has made four appearances for Town this season, and will be aiming to get minutes under his belt at the Priestfield Stadium.

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