Dunn looks for answers
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date published: 04 January 2016
PLENTY TO PONDER . . . manager David Dunn will set his sights on strengthening Athletic’s squad in the January transfer window.
DAVID Dunn is set for talks with Athletic’s board this week as he attempts to reshuffle the squad and lift the club from its current plight.
The latest in a string of catastrophic defensive errors enabled Colchester to earn a 1-1 draw at the weekend to leave Athletic five points adrift of the safety line in Sky Bet League One.
Near the top of Dunn’s shopping list are a pair of full-backs. Cameron Dummigan was among those whose loan deals have now run out and the young Burnley prospect is set to return for the remainder of the season.
He is set to be joined by Clarets club-mate Danny Lafferty. The left-back, whose previous loan this season ended after a shoulder injury at Rochdale in October, is in line to provide a solution to Athletic’s problem position with out-of-form Joseph Mills among players who could leave.
Midfield man Richie Wellens — the stand-out player against Colchester — is another man Dunn wants to retain. He is due back at Doncaster, but has expressed his preference to remain in Oldham for the season.
Dunn has made it clear he doesn’t want the cash-strapped club to cash in on Wellens’ midfield partner Liam Kelly, the subject of what is believed to be a second bid from League One rivals Wigan.
“I have not been told much,” said Dunn, when asked of Wigan’s interest. “Kells is a fantastic player, he does a great job for us and is our captain. He’s a person I wouldn’t want to lose, that’s for sure.”
Mills and James Wilson could both be free to depart, with Dunn examining his options for bringing in a new centre-back, while Ricardo Fuller appears to be set for the exit door.
The manager praised the solid efforts of centre-back duo Brian Wilson and Timothee Dieng against the Us, but was left pulling his hair out at the 81st-minute equaliser that came via a mistake from goalkeeper David Cornell.
“I am struggling to find any kind of positives,” Dunn said of the draw against Colchester, who arrived at Athletic on a run of nine losses.
“It’s like watching a circus at times, isn’t it? Everyone thinks it so I am going to say it. Why shouldn’t I?
“I feel I am getting let down. In preparation, there is nothing we can do to stop that. It has to come from within and there is a responsibility as a footballer to go out there and do your job properly.
“I may be being a little harsh. I can take honest mistakes, but it costs us week-in, week-out.”