The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Ben Fisher

COLCH­ESTER striker Gavin Massey be­lieves the young U’s can build on their last day sur­vival and show what they are re­ally ca­pa­ble of next sea­son.

The 20-year-old set­tled the U’s nerves with the first goal in their 2-0 win at Carlisle last week­end – a re­sult which guar­an­teed League One sta­tus and sent Scun­thorpe crash­ing into the base­ment di­vi­sion.

The U’s have now got a sum­mer to re­build af­ter a year of up­heaval that saw John Ward’s reign come to an end and his re­place­ment Joe Dunne think about leav­ing in Jan­uary af­ter a club record run of nine de­feats on the spin.

But club le­gend Dunne de­cided to stay and Massey is con­vinced there’s a bright fu­ture ahead af­ter what they’ve been through.

“It was the best feel­ing win­ning at Carlisle and se­cur­ing our safety be­cause it had been a bit of a slog,” said Massey.


“We’ve had a lot of tough times this sea­son and we know how big stay­ing up is for the lads, the fans, the club and ob­vi­ously for the gaffer.

“In a way it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for the younger play­ers who were in­volved against Carlisle be­cause you don’t get too many games with more pres­sure than that.

“Next sea­son we can only look up from there now.

“It’s a big achieve­ment with what is a young crop of play­ers. We will go into next sea­son know­ing that we can kick on and pro­duce the goods when the pres­sure is on.

“Rel­e­ga­tion would have been a mas­sive blow. The gaffer has a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with the play­ers and fans – the fans love him here.”

Massey made a per­ma­nent switch to Es­sex from Wat­ford last sum­mer af­ter im­press­ing Ward on loan. He has been a reg­u­lar in the side, play­ing in 41 matches, which he says has tested him phys­i­cally and men­tally.

The lively front­man scored six goals af­ter leav­ing the Hor­nets in search of first-team football and be­lieves that play­ing in League One has taught him some vi­tal lessons.

“I came here to get my ca­reer off the ground but I never thought I would play as many games as I have this sea­son,” he added.

“I started 22 con­sec­u­tive games and the man­ager said he has been happy with me. It’s im­por­tant just to get some game time. It’s def­i­nitely not been a step back­wards.

“Most young play­ers can get games in re­serve teams but this ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing at this level has been vi­tal to me.

“It’s a credit to the man­ager who has put a lot of faith in me and last week’s goal was for him – we all know how much the club means to him.

“Next sea­son I think the team can re­ally push on and I want to play a big part in that and hope­fully the goals will flow.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

LAST GASP: Massey’s goal helped keep Colch­ester up on the fi­nal day of the sea­son to the re­lief of man­ager Joe Dunne (inset)

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