Super Magnus praises new boss

MAGNIFICIENT Magnus Okuonghae delivered a man-of-the-match performance to keep the marauding Saints at bay.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer (Okuonghae quotes plus pic)

By Carl Marston

MAGNIFICIENT Magnus Okuonghae delivered a man-of-the-match performance to keep the marauding Saints at bay.

And he was quick to praise the role of his new manager, Aidy Boothroyd, and in particular his half-time pep talk.

Okuonghae was a rock at the back, coping first with his side going down to 10 men, and then having to adapt to a new partnership following Pat Baldwin's departure on a stretcher.

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Matt Heath replaced the injured Baldwin in first half stoppage time, and played his part alongside Okuonghae in the heart of defence.

But for Okuonghae, the U's gritty second-half display was a direct response to Boothroyd's half-time rallying of the troops.

“I have never experienced such a positive half-time team talk!” insisted Okuonghae.

“The new gaffer is so infectious, and he made us believe that we could go out in the second-half and get a positive result

“He gave us that belief. He's managed at the highest level, so he already has the respect of all the lads

“I thought we stood all stood firm and we dug in. We also had the best 2 chances of the game, with Ashley (Vincent) hitting the bar and Kevin (Lisbie) almost scoring,” added Okuonghae.

Signed by previous manager Paul Lambert over the summer, from Dagenham & Redbridge, Okuonghae has adapted well to life in League One.

And the 23-year-old also relished the chance to captain the side after Baldwin's unfortunate injury.

He confirmed: “I always love responsibility, so I enjoyed wearing the captain's arm-band.

“I had wanted to play in League One last season, when I was at Dagenham, and now I'm doing it.

“It was never going to be easy, playing at such a great stadium. And it got a whole lot harder when we went down to 10 men. The injury to Pat meant that we also had to reshuffle.

“I didn't see the incident with Pat. But a lot of things were happening in the box in the first half. There were collisions happening all the time

“Our aim hasn't changed this season. We still think we can get promoted,” concluded Okuonghae.

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