“We want to try and see the consistent performance levels again, but also the consistent point-scoring days…”
Head Coach Mark Bonner is determined to ensure his side enter the festive period with a foundation to build upon when they take on Fleetwood Town on Saturday afternoon.
In what’s been a strenuous week of preparation owing to a blanket of snow covering the country and forcing a halt to the usual day-to-day training, the U’s boss is hopeful the clash in Lancashire will take place.
“We haven’t been on the grass, and we won’t get on grass from one game to the next. I think I’ve worked here over 11 years, and we’ve never had a period where we’re not able to get on either surface.
“Having had a conversation with them (Fleetwood) earlier in the week, they didn’t have any concerns, and obviously if there was a real shift in that, we’d hope to know before we travel tomorrow (Friday) morning… we’ve been led to believe everything will be okay, so we’re just planning on as normal.”
Ultimately, it’s been a case of cracking on and overcoming the situation. Full of praise, Bonner acknowledged the mindset of his group, who are keen to get back on the pitch and build on their hard-earned point last time out.
“In the end, these sort of challenges just come down to an attitude. Obviously physically you can be better prepared going into the games no doubt, but in the end it’s like ‘what sort of attitude have you got? How do you approach it and deal with all of these challenges?’.
“Our lads have been great. They’re in a good mindset at the minute – hopefully that reflects in our performance on the weekend.”
The Cod Army will provide a stern test, nonetheless. Tough to break down, Scott Brown’s men have lost just five games this season – they’ve all been by one goal.
“They’re always in games right the way through and defensively have a good record. I think they’ve recruited really well in the summer, they’ve got a lot of attacking options and athleticism in their team.
“A lot of their attacking players are able to play in different shapes, systems and areas of the pitch, so their starting XI can play in different ways… they’ve got a lot of variety.
“They’re a fluid team who make you defend, get the ball forward with longer passes, dribbles and counter attacks. It’ll be a really good game.
“For us, it’s about trying to go up there and mirror the performance levels of last week, and put together consistent level of performances over the next few weeks because we’ve got a number of games coming up that will challenge us.
“We want to try and see the consistent performance levels again, but also the consistent point-scoring days – that’s important for us now.”
With the January transfer window approaching, the Head Coach hinted that a busy month of business could await in order to add further competition to a squad that has been stretched in recent weeks.
“We’re certainly working at full pace to try and add to the squad and make it better and stronger and deeper and more competitive. Our plan is to come out of January stronger than we currently are and create that real edge and intensity and competitiveness in the squad.
“There’s potential our squad could look different every week of January.”