Joe Dunne looks to the future after taking Cambridge United helm
U's draw season to an end against Port Vale
Joe Dunne has mixed emotions about Cambridge United’s season coming to a conclusion at home to Port Vale on Saturday.
He was confirmed as the permanent head coach on Wednesday, having led the side to some impressive results and performances while in charge on an interim basis.
With one game left in the Sky Bet League Two campaign though, Dunne will have to wait until mid-summer to pick up where he left off in a competitive sense but he feels that the squad are in need of a rest after a challenging campaign.
“I think there’s two ways of looking at it,” he said. “The players are in a good place at the moment, they’re starting to maximise their potential, however, after Saturday I do think we all need a break.
“I think the season that it’s been, we all need a bit of mental rest.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs, there’s been a lot of change, both on and off the pitch. We’ve really tested the players in the recent weeks, and they’ll need a rest.
“Let’s not forget we’ve lost a chairman, chief executive and a manager in a season which is unique really so if we can just maximise Saturday.
“I want the players to enjoy Saturday, but I want them to enjoy it working hard and doing what they’ve been doing, and then I want them to have some mental rest.
“I think the staff will need it is well.
“But we’re ready for pre-season. It’s planned, we know who we’re playing, we know when we’re playing, we know what we’re going to do, we know how we’re going to train and that’s set, so we don’t need to worry too much about that.
“Personally, I am a little bit disappointed because it’s been so good trying to paint the picture for players and that’s what makes a coach love his job but I can see both sides.
“I’ll get some mental rest myself and we’ll be ready, hopefully, to come back and start from day one.”
Dunne seems to have an insatiable appetite for the game and is clearly someone who lives, eats and sleeps football so it is difficult to imagine that he will be able to switch off.
But he admits that it has got easier with age.
“I think I’ve learned to get the balance. I won’t switch off, I love football I’m a fan as much as anybody else and we’ve got the World Cup,” he said.
“We’ve already spoken about the analysis and how we can see patterns in the World Cup and trying to get a video for the players when they come back.
“I’ve learned to get my downtime and the balance between work and rest and that’s been a really key factor for me.”