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U's complete Dickson capture

Ryan Dickson has joined Colchester United
Ryan Dickson has joined Colchester United Credit: PA

Colchester United have announced the signing of former Southampton defender Ryan Dickson.

The 26-year-old has been on trial with the U's since his release from the Premiership side.

Left back Dickson played over 80 games at Brentford before making the switch to the South coast.

The new U's recruit told Colchester's official website that the opportunity to play regular football was too good to turn down.

"It's good to be settled now and I've been happy since I first turned up here. There's a good squad here, the right philosophy in the way to play and a great work rate from all of the lads.

"Last year was a frustrating one for me, so I am ready to get back to my top form and help Colchester push on, because I think we've got a good chance with some real talented players here."

United have also confirmed that winger Drey Wright has put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him stay with the club until 2016.

O'Toole completes Rovers switch

John-Joe O'Toole has left Colchester United to join Bristol Rovers
John-Joe O'Toole has left Colchester United to join Bristol Rovers Credit: PA

Colchester United midfielder John-Joe O'Toole has left the club to join Bristol Rovers on a permanent basis.

The 24-year-old spent time on loan at the Memorial Stadium last season, and has now committed his future to Rovers by signing a three-year contract.

The League Two outfit have paid an undisclosed fee for O'Toole's services, and the midfielder will once again link up with former U's boss John Ward in the West Country.

Ward's successor at Colchester United, Joe Dunne, told the club's official website that the move suited all parties.

"I think John-Joe has made the right choice of club for this move. His opportunities here would have been limited with the competition for places in the centre of midfield. On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to wish him well and thank him for his time at the club."

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Sanchez Watt agrees U's deal

Sanchez Watt has agreed to join Colchester United on a permanent basis
Sanchez Watt has agreed to join Colchester United on a permanent basis Credit: PA

Former Arsenal winger Sanchez Watt has agreed a two year contract with Colchester United.

The 22-year-old is already familiar with the club having spent time on loan with the U's last season.

He follows Craig Eastmond and Mason Spence as new arrivals at the Weston Homes Community Stadium so far this summer.

U's goalkeeper signs new deal

Mark Cousins has signed a new deal to stay at Colchester United
Mark Cousins has signed a new deal to stay at Colchester United Credit: ITV Anglia

Colchester United goalkeeper Mark Cousins has signed a new contract to stay at the club.

The 26-year-old was offered a new deal by manager Joe Dunne towards the back end of last season and has now decided to commit his future to the U's.

Cousins will be hoping to establish himself as the U's no.1 next season.

He lost his place to on loan Chelsea 'keeper, Sam Walker, during the last campaign.

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U's keeper: We've never let our heads drop

Colchester United keeper says the team never lost faith in their own ability.

Sam Walker, who's on loan at Colchester from Chelsea, said that the players kept believing in themselves particularly during their bad run.

The positive thing for us is we haven't let our heads drop with the results because we have been churning out the performances. We have been playing well. And we know we have got goals in us.

I try and learn off every experience in football. I've had a couple of relegation battles before, as have a few of the players in the dressing room. So we're all sticking together.

"Obviously every game has a bit of pressure on it, non more so than Saturday."

– Sam Walker

U's can respond to pressure - Kinsella

Colchester assistant manager Mark Kinsella says Shrewsbury will be a tough test.

"It's an opportunity we've put ourselves in. It's a job that we can do ourselves rather than count on other results".

The threat of relegation became a big issue for the U's after they suffered a club record nine straight league defeats. But Kinsella believes the players are better for the experience.

They've proved that they can respond. When a new manager first comes in they normally get a run of games straight away which gives them a

confidence boost.

We went through that run where we couldnt get a win but our performances weren't that bad. We got done a couple of times when we weren't good enough.

Other than that we'd played well but didn't have the luck.

"It shows the character in the lads. They've got good confidence in themselves within the group and as individuals.

But it's also down to the gaffer who's taken the heat off them and told them to concentrate on what they're doing."

– Mark Kinsella

Kinsella: U's safety in our own hands

Mark Kinsella Credit: PA

Colchester United assistant manager Mark Kinsella is hoping their League One status can be finally be confirmed on home soil at the weekend.

The U's are five points above the drop zone with two games left. A win over Shrewsbury Town on Saturday will secure their safety at the expense of Scunthorpe.

"It's in our own hands," said Kinsella, who attended the pre-match media briefing with manager Joe Dunne away for family reasons.

"We don't want to be going up to Carlisle next week looking to get something."

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