Crewe Alex: My real bond is with United, says Crewe graduate
ANDY Bond was grateful for his second spell at Crewe ... but says he is glad to be with the opposition tomorrow (3pm).
Bond never made a senior appearance for Crewe after progressing through the club's academy, but returned on loan to plug a gap in midfield earlier this season.
Now the 26-year-old is back at parent club Colchester United and expected to take a place on the bench at Gresty Road when the clubs meet in League One.
"It was good to get games at Crewe, but I'm glad to be back at Colchester," said Bond, who had been frozen out of first-team plans at United when Joe Dunne replaced John Ward as manager in September.
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"I want to be at Colchester and it's where I belong. I want to fight for my place. The club is going places and I want to be a part of it.
"New managers have different ideas but, touch wood, I can be a part of it. I just need to take my chance when it comes."
Bond played five games in the middle of the park for the Railwaymen, including wins against Hartlepool and Shrewsbury.
However, he didn't show much of the goal threat that had seen him score 12 times in 97 outings for the Us, and he lost his place to Abdul Osman before heading back south.
Since then he has netted one of the finest goals of his career, a 35-yard drive as the Us beat Harlow Town 8-1 in the Essex Senior Cup last week. But he was probably relieved not to be involved when the Us lost 3-1 to near neighbours Chelmsford last week in the FA Cup.
He was back in the fold in midweek when he came off the bench for the last 25 minutes of United's 2-0 home defeat to Notts County.
Colchester's form has dipped just as Crewe's has improved, but they still sit one place above the Railwaymen in the League One table on goal difference.
Lauri Dalla Valle and Chuks Aneke are expected to be paired up front for the Alex again after an impressive 2-0 win at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday, although Max Clayton (groin) is nearing a return to fitness.
The performance of Dalla Valle, who joined on a month's loan from Fulham on Monday, was particularly pleasing for manager Steve Davis, who will be hoping for more of the same from the Finnish striker tomorrow.
Davis said: "Lauri can make those intelligent little runs in behind. He occupies the centre-backs with his movement.
"He didn't give Doncaster a minute's peace and he took his goal really well. He was composed.
"That is what we saw in him and why we decided to bring him in and play him. We watched him play that role for Fulham, as a central striker with one off, and it suited us with Chuks."
Centre-back Adam Dugdale showed he can be a goal threat too when he scored as an overage player for Crewe's under-21s in a 2-2 draw with Huddersfield Town on Wednesday.
Dugdale is pressing to win back his place in the first team, but will be hard pressed to budge Harry Davis or Mark Ellis given their recent form.
Steve Davis was as pleased with his side's defensive performance as he was with their display going forward at the Keepmoat Stadium.
And the former centre-half hopes he can mark his first anniversary in the Alex hot seat tomorrow with another shut out.
Colchester had kept three clean sheets themselves in a row during a three-game winning run last month, but have since started to leak goals, particularly from set-pieces.
Dunne said: "Our old habit of not defending set-pieces after giving away free-kicks in stupid areas cost us again against Notts County.
"That type of goal seems to be happening a lot, so I think I maybe have to look at bringing in some competition to freshen up in defensive areas."