Cambridge United looking for more away day joy at Cheltenham Town
PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:40 17 March 2017
U’s hope to continue success on the road
Cambridge United will put their impressive away record to the test again when they visit Cheltenham Town in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow (Saturday, March 18).
The U’s will be eager to put behind them a disappointing performance in a 1-0 defeat to Hartlepool United at the Cambs Glass Stadium on Tuesday night.
And they may enjoy being back on the road in Gloucestershire as they possess one of the best away records in the division.
“The away form has been a fantastic positive this year,” said United manager Shaun Derry. “You always have to look back on a previous performance and we all acknowledged it was poor.
“But I think if we were being clinical with the judgement of the season, I’m not too sure we can say there’s been more than four or five really poor performances this season.
“When you throw that into the equation some of the positive away performances we’ve managed to be involved in, I think you have to put it into perspective.
“We were clearly disappointed on Tuesday but it’s another great opportunity this weekend.
“It’s going to be tough because they are fighting for their lives and they’ve got a different type of agenda to what we’ve got.”
Former Cambridge United manager Gary Johnson is in charge at Cheltenham, however, it was announced yesterday that he was undergoing heart surgery.
He had missed their last two matches after being admitted to hospital last weekend, and the club announced the surgery yesterday.
Assistant manager Russell Milton has taken the reins for the last two matches, and looks set to continue at the helm as Johnson recovers.
Speaking before the news about Johnson was announced, Derry said: “Gary will be aware of the situation that he has been in for the majority of the season, but he’s a very experienced manager and one that’s had a lot of success.
“He knows how to get people in a really hard-working environment down there, and that’s what he’s created down there. They are fighting for their lives and they have been doing that all season and been doing it really well.
“If you’d asked him prior to the season starting if survival was his main objective, he would say it was. “So nothing’s changed for them, but for us we’re hoping to go down to Cheltenham and play a lot better than we did on Tuesday night, and we’re hoping to carry on this really good away form.”
And rather than getting caught looking at how the division is taking shape and the teams around them, Derry is determined to focus on the U’s.
“We have to concentrate on ourselves, we’ve always managed to respond from a poor performance and that’s what I’m hoping for this weekend,” said Derry.
“It’s 10 games to go for our season, 30 points, so still a lot to play for.
“I’ve set the bar high at the football club and when people fall below it we get told honestly and we have to accept the criticism that comes our way because we’ve all got our own agenda.
“The agenda is to keep progressing. I’ve seen that progression this year, without a shadow of a doubt, but it’s always disappointing when you lose in the manner that we did on Tuesday night, against – with the greatest respect to the opposition – an opposition that has not won in six away games.
“It makes it a little bit more of a bitter pill to swallow.”