Mark Bonner Previews MK Dons Clash

Mark Bonner sat down with local media on Thursday morning prior to Cambridge United’s Sky Bet League One clash with MK Dons on Saturday (19th March)…

On Saturday’s defeat:

“We’ve had a few heavy defeats along the way, but we’ve always responded well. I think overall, when you look at the period we’ve been together, it’s been largely successful, but when you look at successful periods, you will always have those bad days, and Saturday was certainly one of them.

“We weren’t anywhere near our level, but also the level Sheffield Wednesday found was really exceptional. They’re a Championship side and they played like one on Saturday, we really struggled to contain them.

“Certainly, an afternoon none of us enjoyed, but we can and will reset, and I’m hoping that this weekend’s performance reflects how good we can be.”

On responding to the defeat:

“You look at this year and it’s harder to bounce back [to a defeat], given the quality of the opposition at this level. We went to Oxford and Wycombe earlier, which were two really hard games, but we then bounced back against Accrington and Plymouth.

“We want to competitive against those top teams, and we’ve proved on multiple occasions this season that we can.

“With the target number of points we’re aiming and heading for this season, by definition, there’s going to be a few defeats along the way, so it’s about how we lose – and we know we’ve got to be more competitive than we were on Saturday.

“Somewhere, within all the pain from Saturday, there is an opportunity for the players to learn and take things out of the game – that’s what the best players do.

“At the moment we’re not where we want to be, there’s still points and positions that we’re playing for.”

“Nine games to go and with 45 points on the board, we’re in a brilliant position, and anyone who doesn’t think we’re on course to have a brilliant season, they need to give their heads a wobble!”

On MK Dons:

“I’ve watched quite a bit of them this season as it’s not very far away, and they give you a lovely carvery if you go!

“I know Liam Manning from his time with the academy at Ipswich, and his assistant Chris Hogg, who I’m doing my Pro Licence with at the moment, and obviously there’s a couple of players we know and we’ll welcome them back because they contributed a lot to our progression.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Liam, he’s inherited someone else’s team on the eve of the new season, and he’s hit the ground running. That’s a huge challenge to do that, especially as it’s his first season managing in England.

“I’ve been so impressed with them, I was when we played them earlier in the season and I’m expecting another really tough game this weekend.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how competitive against one of the best teams in the division.”

Team news:

“Over the next couple of games, we’ll probably see a fairly consistent team, like we have been doing and then hopefully we can get to a position when we can start making a couple of changes looking ahead to next season.

“I’ve made no decisions yet on the team, but I image there will be a couple of changes from last weekend.

“Shilow [Tracey] didn’t complete Tuesday’s session so we’ll have to see where he is on Thursday, the same with Lorent Tolaj, who had a problem with his neck, but apart from that. Everyone else is good to go.”