Bonner and Worman on Rotherham

Head Coach Mark Bonner and Ben Worman faced the media on Thursday morning ahead of the U’s clash with Rotherham on Saturday…

Mark Bonner was first to speak to the press.

On Rotherham:

“Rotherham are very different in terms of the style which they play compared to MK Dons, but they are in great form and have got a strong squad which is very similar to the one that competed in the Championship last year. We know what we are up against and how tough of a task it will be.

“We know we can go there and get a result. We have done it before against the top sides away from home in this division; I think what we have realised, and recognise, is that we must find a real top level to do that.

“I think one of the reasons that we are so pleased to be at this level is for these challenges. We will take on our usual optimism and energy and give the best account of ourselves as we can against a strong side that obviously has different expectations to us.”

Team News:

“Lloyd [Jones] has been making good progress with the physios, although he has not been out on the grass yet; he might be out today we will just have to wait and see, but we want to give him as long as possible.

“He has missed near on three weeks now so he will need a little bit of training time to build himself back up, so he might not be available for the next few games.

“It is the same scenario with Shilow [Tracey], will see how he is this morning, but he got a whack from the goalkeeper at Northampton in the First Round on his hip joint, which has been quite tender and sore, and it has really stopped him from doing anything really.

“We will see how that settles down over the next couple of days, but again, he has not trained for a while now. 

We have plenty of options in those wider positions, but nobody as quick as him [Tracey], which is why he is so good. He is tough to defend against, and we are going to defend against a lot of quick players this weekend, so we need to make sure that we get our best and most athletic players in dangerous positions – but the sooner we can get him back the better.”

On Tuesday’s win:

“We used the ball in the attacking third well, and we carried a nice composure about us with our play; we need to do that weekend to see if we can be a threat, not only on counterattack, but to try to control spells in the game where we sustain possession in their half.”

Following his goal on Tuesday, U’s academy graduate Ben Worman also spoke with the press.

On his run of games in the first team:

“I am just enjoying my football at the minute, so the minutes I am getting in the first team is really nice and it was important to follow up the goal against Morecambe with another as it has been sort of in my mind to follow up, so I am not just remembered that goal at Morecambe, so I was delighted to get another one on Tuesday!

“In football there is a lot of highs and lows, and you never know when those moments are going to come, so when they do, you have really got to enjoy them, but you can’t get too ahead of yourself.

“I think Shaun Derry was that was the manager at that time when I first broke through, so I have definitely had to be patient and I think that is the key really. You never know when that opportunity might arise, so the longer you stick at it the better.”

On Tuesday’s win against Northampton:

“We wanted to get another in the second half and to keep the same intensity that we had in the first. We knew the next goal was crucial, so it came at a good time. I think all our goals did really; we scored with pretty much our first two attacks in the in the first half, so getting that third goal was good, and I am just delighted it was me that scored it!”

On putting on the U’s shirt as a fan:

“It is insane really, because when I was younger, it is all I would think about and I used to love going to watch games as a fan. You get that adrenaline sitting in the terraces, so to be on the pitch actually playing feels crazy, and I am really enjoying it!”

On playing alongside Wes Hoolahan:

“It is great to play with him, with the career he has had. If we are having a chat he will tell me anything I want to know. I can ask him because he is a humble guy who will give you advice from his experiences as well.

“He is the man really; he has been at the top level and he has all that knowledge.”