Play-off chase goes to the wire for Cambridge United
PUBLISHED: 07:01 05 May 2017
Final day showdown at Wycombe Wanderers could be crucial
Cambridge United and Wycombe Wanderers will go head to head in their chase for the Sky Bet League Two play-off places – but their success also be dependent on other results going their way.
Both teams are on 66 points, one point off seventh place, which is occupied by Blackpool, and two adrift of sixth-placed Carlisle. Stevenage have 67 points in eighth.
United are in ninth, with Colchester in 10th and Wycombe in 11th all on 66.
So a winner at Adams Park between the U’s and Wycombe would then turn the attention to other results on the day, with all games kicking off at 5.30pm on Saturday (May 6).
“I think the slight difference between the rest of the games and our game is that both ourselves and Wycombe, in my opinion, are playing with less pressure on the game compared to what the other teams are playing with,” said Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry.
“We’re two teams that have exceeded expectations this season so to go into the final game with limited expectations on our shoulders it allows us both to actually enjoy the moment.
“That’s the message I’m giving the lads – enjoy the week, enjoy everything. To go into the last game of the season with so much to play for is testament to just what a good season we’ve had.”
After a season that has suffered injury setback after injury setback, to go into the final match with a chance of reaching the play-offs is something of a bonus for Derry.
“I think you look at the other teams that have been up there that have fallen out these last few weeks, we have only been in the top seven once for a short space of time but came out of it for reasons we all know,” said the manager.
“The challenge for us is all about enjoying the moment, taking 1,700 fans over to Wycombe is brilliant in itself. It’s a big game, we want to enjoy a big game atmosphere.
“I’m just delighted that we’ve got something to play for in the last game of the season, I’m really relaxed about things.
“The difference between my outlook compared to perhaps three or four other managers’ outlooks is that we haven’t had that pressure all season and we’ve not got that pressure of getting in there this weekend, and if we do it will be remarkable.”
He added: “I think people now realise just what a solid season we have had. To be in and around the top seven was the remit that I had from the level above me pre-season.
“When you speak in those terms, understanding what type of players we have and what type of players we would bring in, I thought it was a realistic ambition for us.
“Obviously as the season has progressed and the knocks that we’ve had to take, it’s caused us a difficulty so to actually be ticking that box on the last day of the season is a fantastic effort from everybody at the football club.”
Full list of final-day fixtures: Blackpool v Leyton Orient, Colchester United v Yeovil Town, Crawley Town v Mansfield Town, Crewe Alexandra v Barnet, Exeter City v Carlisle United, Grimsby Town v Plymouth Argyle, Hartlepool United v Doncaster Rovers, Luton Town v Morecambe, Newport County v Notts County, Portsmouth v Cheltenham Town, Stevenage v Accrington Stanley, Wycombe Wanderers v Cambridge United.