Joe Dunne salutes the Cambridge United spirit

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 March 2018

Uche Ikpeazu in action for Cambridge United in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town. Picture: Keith Heppell

Uche Ikpeazu in action for Cambridge United in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s dig deep on and off the pitch

Brad Halliday in action for Cambridge United in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town. Picture: Keith HeppellBrad Halliday in action for Cambridge United in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town. Picture: Keith Heppell

Joe Dunne hailed the spirit of Cambridge United as the club overcame the weather to stage their match against Luton Town last Saturday, and then take a point off the Sky Bet League Two leaders.

Groundsman Ian Darler, assistant Mick Brown and a team of volunteers fought the Beast from the East and won, making it possible to stage the game at the Abbey Stadium in one of only 10 matches to be played in the Football League.

Their efforts were then backed up by the players as Jabo Ibehre headed an 83rd-minute equaliser after James Collins, who was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 77th minute, had given Luton the lead after 33 minutes.

“I’m going to buy them a drink,” said interim head coach Dunne about the grounds team.

Billy Waters in action for Cambridge United in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town. Picture: Keith HeppellBilly Waters in action for Cambridge United in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town. Picture: Keith Heppell

“They deserve a drink, fantastic. Those covers went on after the Grimsby game, he [Ian Darler] read it [the weather forecast].

“It’s a brilliant spirit, and I think we echoed that spirit.

“We did speak about it before the game. We had 4am written on the flip chart.

“We said that’s what time Ian got here, that’s the application needed, that’s what we want from you guys, you’ve got to match that, there’s no way we’re losing this game when we’ve worked so hard to get it on and I’m so pleased we didn’t.”

Dunne was delighted with both the performance and result, believing the way they battled back into the game could be vital for the group going forward.

“We trained indoors twice this week,” he said.

“It’s a tremendous effort from the players. It’s a very good result for us and it’s a very emotional result from the fact that we dug it out, and that’s very important for this group, I think.

“I think it’s very important that desire and heart not to get beat, and I think we’ve shown that.”

Dunne was just as delighted for goalscorer Ibehre, who has struggled this calendar year with suspension and injury.

“I’m really pleased for Jabo,” he said. “It’s been a tough period since before Christmas and a stop-start season for him really. He’s never really got going, but when you look at his record at Carlisle, he could score goals between now and the end of the season.

“Crosses into the box, he is in the box and he scores, it’s a classic Ibehre goal and we’re pleased he did it.”

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