“We’ve always had a mantra here that we can compete with everyone and beat anyone…”
Cambridge United Head Coach Mark Bonner has been pleased with the momentum the U’s have recently built up – and he hopes his side can kick on and give a good account of themselves against Barnsley in Saturday’s Sky Bet League One tie.
The side have registered consecutive draws and remained extremely organised throughout the last 180 minutes. Buoyed by their displays, the task now is to ensure the next win is just around the corner, with a plethora of points to play for ahead of a relentless upcoming schedule.
“In the big picture of the football club, our momentum hasn’t really stopped – we’re on a serious upward trajectory and there’s so much good stuff going on. We’ve come a hell of a long way in a short period of time.
“We’re starting to feel that confidence and belief come back into the team, which is good because we need a real momentum spell now. We think that can be kicked on from the last couple of games and we’re looking forward to a busy spell now – five games in a fortnight will really test us.
“We’ve always had a mantra here that we can compete with everyone and beat anyone regardless of the size of the club or the resources we’ve got.”
The impressive displays against Lincoln City and Ipswich Town, two sides who like to impose themselves, have certainly proven that the U’s have that desire in the tank. The Tykes will prove another stern test of their resolve - the Head Coach acknowledges this, praising the hosts and highlighting the importance of their preparation.
“They’re a brilliantly organised team defensively – their defence record is exceptional. They’re a very strong and aggressive team, they’ve got direct threats and deliver good crosses in the box, but they’ve also got some excellent footballers in the midfield so they’re well-stocked and have got a bit of everything.
“They’re in a position they deserve to be. I would imagine they will finish in those play-off places and be a real threat and a real strong side in that situation.
“Michael Duff’s obviously gone in and done a good job – we played them earlier in the season and saw that. We have an idea and understanding of what his teams look like having played against his Cheltenham team for a number of years, there’s similarities there.”
As is the case with every encounter, United will show respect for their counterparts, but will be equally keen to take the game to the play-off outfit and capitalise on their bright spells.
“It’s a good, exciting one to go into. A few weeks ago it might have been one we were quite frightened of. But the last few weeks has given us a renewed belief and bounce that we want to go and have a go at teams, we want to see what we can do and deliver and see if it’s a game we can take points from.
“In the next fortnight, we’re seeing a group of games that we need to get a good points return from and we’re all on board to do that.”