Cambridge United midfield options just the ticket for manager Shaun Derry

PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 February 2017

James Dunne has been the mainstay of Cambridge United's midfield this season.

James Dunne has been the mainstay of Cambridge United's midfield this season.

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s boss relishes squad competition

Shaun Derry is looking forward to the challenge of managing the abundance of riches in Cambridge United’s midfield.

Liam O’Neil arrived at the Cambs Glass Stadium on transfer deadline on Tuesday, following Paul Lewis into the U’s during January to the depth of the resources at the club.

And U’s boss Derry feels that rather than being a balancing act for one of the midfield spots, it offers him a wide array of options.

“I think we need competition for places, getting as many good players into the football club as possible, making sure that this window was all about attracting the right type of players,” said Derry.

“I keep saying about it being that transitional period where you’re building not just for now, and hopefully for what this season can deliver, but for the future as well.

“So in terms of having to juggle players, that’s my job and something I have to be very sure about and make the right calls.”

Derry reflected on his days as a player, and how the extra competition fuelled his own desire to get in the squad.

“For the lads themselves, I’ve been in their situation where managers have brought in players in my position and it’s galvanised me as a player,” he said.

“I’ve always taken upon it as another task. I was never a shrinking violet that went to sleep and thought my career was ended because you never know what is around the corner in football.

“We’ve seen numerous times this year with injuries and form and that’s probably been the one position in my squad that I looked upon perhaps needed a little bit more competition.”

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