Mark Roberts sets sights on another unbeaten run for Cambridge United

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 January 2017

Cambridge United's Mark Roberts

Cambridge United's Mark Roberts

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s look to Luton clash

Mark Roberts is targeting Cambridge United going on another unbeaten run, starting with Luton Town this Saturday.

The U’s had gone two months and eight Sky Bet League Two matches since their last defeat, only to lose 3-1 to Mansfield Town at home last weekend.

“There was a lot of disappointment in the changing room afterwards but we’ve got to react now because we’ve not felt that way very much in recent times so we’ll take it on the chin and we’ve got to come back in the best possible way,” said United centre-back Roberts.

“Myself, Leggy (Leon Legge) and some of the other players that maybe age-wise aren’t that experienced but have played a lot of games will rally round and deal with this disappointment in the right way.

“I was saying the other week, we don’t get carried away when we’re doing well and we don’t get too despondent when we taste defeat.

“It hurts, it hurts a lot and it’s a bitter pill to swallow but it’s something that happens in football.

“It’s the first time we’ve lost a game in nine so if we can go on another unbeaten run, that starts at Luton next Saturday.

“You know in this league if you string a run of wins together that’s the best way of getting up the league table, and that’s what’s catapulted us from the bottom of the league into the play-off mix.

“So we will be looking to do that again, and we will take one game at a time, but winning at Luton would be the best place to start.

“Every defeat hurts, but it’s how you respond to that and that’s what we can do now. Once it’s done, it’s done. Whether you have won or lost the game, you can’t go back and change it.

“So we have to put things right in the next game, and that’s Luton.”

In his post-match interview, U’s manager Shaun Derry described the defeat as a “smell the coffee moment”.

It was in reference to the performance after taking the lead through George Maris’s goal before conceding just before the break and then leaking two more to Mansfield in the second half.

But despite the defeat, United only dropped two points off the play-off places.

“I think we have to be realistic and say that ourselves as well as perhaps 11 or 12 other teams have all got the same hopes,” said Derry. “There are only going to be seven teams that finish in the top seven.

“I made the comment to smell the coffee as we have to learn from the events. Next week it might be a different story; I’m sure it will be.

“All runs come to an end, we understand that.

“Even the best teams in the world go on fantastic runs and then suddenly it comes to a juddering halt, and that’s what’s happened.

“It’s not as if I’m pleased with the performance yet we’ve lost.

“It was one of them where you just write an absolute black line through it and you go again next week.”

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