Bonner on Sunderland

U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner faced this media on Thursday morning ahead of his sides clash with Sunderland on Saturday…

On Tuesday’s draw:

“We are a good team; we just want to turn those results into a more positive ones. In reality, for us to be one-nil up at half time comes as maybe a surprise; they started brilliantly and put us under massive pressure.

“We probably would have taken a point before kick-off, especially after their fast start, but when you get yourself into that leading position, you want to try and hang on to that, and I think the biggest frustration is just the timing of the goals coming so late and so fast.

“Barry [Corr] said to me the after the game, “If they had of scored after 55 and 70 minutes you probably would not feel anywhere near as bad.” – and in that sense he is right. We did not have to do a huge amount of defending in the box, nor felt under huge pressure or out of control of the game.

“I think when you wrap it all up and you look at parts of our performance where we are at the moment, it was a very good performance. We are a point better off, and we just need to take our frustrations into Saturday’s game.”

Team news: 

“Lloyd [Jones] is out with Mike [Burroughs] running. He has done a bit of ball work but has yet to join the group, so we will see how he is today, if he has settled down at all.

“It has taken longer than we thought, but at the same time you cannot push before he is ready because we cannot afford without him for a long period of time. We need him, we know that, just like we need Shilow [Tracey], who’ll hopefully be back soon, as well as Greg [Taylor] and Liam [O’Neil], but they are little bit further away.

“We hope Shilow [Tracey] can get through these next couple of training days relatively pain free, then we can see him involved on Saturday properly, in the sense that he has not been in the last couple of games.”

On Sunderland:

“I speak on it every week about teams that were in the Premier League, or teams that have huge resources and championship level squads, it gets boring, there is about ten of them!

“Everyone says the toughest League One for years that I speak to, obviously I have got no reference point for that, you have to just go along with the people that have been in the league for a number of years say.

“Sunderland started the season brilliantly. They have had a run of games that perhaps has not gone as well as they would have hoped, but you look at the league table and they are still right in touch with the top, which is where they expect to be.

“They will come here expecting to win and needing the three points, because that is the expectation and demand of that club, really. We know on our day we can be a match for any team.

“Really you have to strip away the badge of the opposition, it is 11v11 on the pitch. I think the days of us being a little bit in awe of teams in this league are gone - this is our level now.

“Our ambition is that we build this club and try and compete at the top end of the table with these teams overtime and that is what we want to do, but right now, it is about just competing with them and going into games as confident as we can.

“We are looking forward to a full Abbey Stadium again, we have to make that work to our advantage. I think it will really crank up the atmosphere this week. I think their fans are probably the best away following that we will see in terms of noise, and I hope that really inspires us from minute naught to minute 90.”