Mark Bonner Previews Shrewsbury Clash

U’s head coach Mark Bonner sat down with local media on Thursday morning prior to his side’s clash with Shrewsbury Town on Saturday (5th March)…

On Tuesday night: 

“The first goal was very unfortunate, coming in a period in the game where it was quite balanced. I thought we started quite well so it was frustrating. Then the second goal came quite soon after that.

“There's a foul on Dunks in the build up to that goal, but nonetheless, we should probably try and stop the lad in the box when we had good numbers around him, and he manages to dodge his way past us.

“I think we had a good penalty shout on Shilow and if he goes down at the point of the contact, he probably wins a penalty, but he takes the extra step, and then nearly gets booked for diving.

“It’s hard against teams like Wycombe, because once they’re ahead they always sit in and let you have it, they slowed the game, killed the momentum at any opportunity.

“I think we're going to play a fair few teams in the final few games against sides that really needs results for whatever reason, so we need to make sure we've got that edge as we need those results ourselves for our own targets, starting this weekend.

“One positive from Tuesday is that the lads coming back, Shilow, Lloyd and Joey, will benefit from getting minutes in the tank, and they’ll be key for us in the run-in.”

Team news:

“Joe [Ironside] is just a freak really! His body is ridiculous and the way it responds to things, he has no pain threshold. He just gets on with it and cracks on; he had a huge determination and work ethic to get back on the pitch.

“He played last year with a cracked sternum for a few weeks. He's so important to the culture that we've got because he's the type of player, along with others, that you need to have in your team.

“For Lloyd [Jones] to get through 90 minutes was great. He coped with it OK, so we'll see how he is over the next couple of days. We think it's right for him to go again at the weekend.

“Liam [O’Neil] was due to start on Tuesday so that was another change we have to make late on. He was sick in the day, so I don't think we're going to see him at training today as we just want to give it enough time to settle down, but hopefully we can see him on Friday.”

On Shrewsbury:

“They’re a strong team, which they showed on Tuesday with the draw against Rotherham. They probably had the edged in that game, after having some good chances and Rotherham’s keeper had to play well to keep them in it at times.

“A physically strong side that are very athletic at the top end of the pitch, they’ve also got some good experience in the mix.

“The game there earlier in the season, we probably didn’t our best in the first and foremost, but then the sending off really changed the flow of the game and it got away from us when we were in it.

“We've got to try and create chances and look a goal threat against a team that has a very good defensive record, and like ourselves are still stuck in the middle of the table. We are in super form at the Abbey and we have to try and continue that this weekend.”

On the importance of Women’s Football Weekend:

“It’s really important. I’ve openly said for a while now that one of the ways in which we build our club is by using its natural resource and its supporter numbers. In every area of society we want to try and encourage people to come to games.

“I think the Her Game Too initiative is an excellent one, we want to be a diverse club that is inclusive and allows everybody to come and enjoy football.

“The club’s doing some really good things in female sport, with the women's team, playing at the Abbey last weekend and will result will play again on the 27th of March. Hopefully people can get behind then again.

“I think the desire from the owner, all the way through the board, is to really engage the women's team and make it an essential part of the club and then as part of that spin off is female supporters and understanding that everybody is welcome and we want to create that environment.

“We want to be a family Club where everyone feels welcome and if we can keep raising the awareness of women in football and the opportunities that there are for women and girls to develop and engage with our club, I think that's all for the better.”