Joe Dunne is happy to see the battle for a place in Colchester United's attack hot up.

The U's have been prolific so far in pre-season, with Freddie Sears and Jabo Ibehre both scoring three times in their opening two friendly wins against Heybridge Swifts and Brantham Athletic.

Dominic Vose, Gavin Massey and Dan Holman have also found the net in those games, with a prolific Colchester side scoring 12 goals in two games after beating Heybridge 8-0 and Brantham 4-1.

Dunne said: “Any manager would want good competition for places.

“We’re running with a small squad and it’s about people being ready to play.

“Freddie and Jabo have been getting goals and Dan has also looked sharp.

“Trying to keep them fresh is the key and if we can do that, it will present more opportunities."

Meanwhile, Colchester are hoping that Marcus Bean will return before the start of the new season.

The experienced midfielder is yet to feature for the U's in pre-season, after picking up a knee injury.

Dunne said: “We’re expecting Marcus to miss a few games but hopefully he can catch up by the back end of pre-season."

For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.