Joe Dunne Pre-Basingstoke Town

Joe Dunne says events at the club this week have not affected the first team’s focus away from Saturday’s First Round Emirates FA Cup Clash against Basingstoke Town at the Abbey Stadium (KO 3pm).

With Cambridge United parting company with Richard Money on Monday, Dunne has been asked to lead training this week ahead of the match against the Hampshire side. 

“My job this week is to prepare the team for Saturday and we won’t look any further than that,” said the Irishman.

“We have had to be professional and react in the best way possible. The players are all employees of the club and they all take professional pride, so they know that their responsibility is to be ready for the game.

“Following the second half against Bristol Rovers and the news we received after the weekend, we needed this match. It is a great chance to show what we are about."

He continued: “We have tried to keep it as routine as possible. We want to be ready to go both physically and emotionally to fight for a place in the second round.”

Dunne reflected on the U’s success in the FA Cup during 2014/15 season, and viewed this weekend’s match against Basingstoke as an opportunity to lay down an important marker in the competition.

“When the First Round comes around everybody wants to be thinking about the Third Round and what you could possibly get at that stage. You have to earn the right to get there though.

“Last year as a club, we earned that right and the success that has brought has obviously been well-documented. But it is new players, things have changed since last season, so that begins again this week.

“We need to make sure we are ready and only focus on what we have to do on Saturday.”

Tickets for the game are available to buy online, in-store or over the phone by calling 01223 566 500.