Joe Dunne says securing Billy Clifford’s services until the end of the season is great news for Colchester United’s survival hopes.

Clifford will now remain at the U’s until the end of April, after his parent club Chelsea agreed to his loan being extended.

The 20-year-old has started all five of Colchester matches since arriving from Stamford Bridge last month, initially on a one-month loan.

Clifford has helped the U’s win three of their last four matches and has been impressive, in the club’s on-going battle to beat the drop.

Dunne said: “We’re delighted to have secured Billy’s services until the end of the season.

“I knew he was a talented young player when I brought him to Colchester.

“And he has proved to be every bit the player I thought he was and more.

“Every game is a cup final for us at the moment and he has handled it very well."

For more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, see Wednesday's Gazette.