Shaun Derry calls for Cambridge United composure ahead of visit of Newport County

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 December 2017

Cambridge United head coach Shaun Derry.

Cambridge United head coach Shaun Derry.

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s head coach keeping calm approach

Shaun Derry is urging Cambridge United to bounce back from the disappointments of recent weeks and deliver the goods against Newport County at the Abbey Stadium tomorrow.

Two 2-0 defeats on the road – against tomorrow’s opponents in the FA Cup on December 3 and last week against Port Vale in Sky Bet League Two – has led to feelings of frustration from supporters on social media.

And the absence of a goal away from home since September has heightened feelings in some quarters.

But when the U’s were last at the Abbey, they secured a 1-0 win over Stevenage, thanks to Uche Ikpeazu’s late header.

It has led to head coach Derry asking for calm, with United sat only three points off the play-off places.

“I think the key for this is that everyone keeps their composure,” he said. “It’s a great time of the year to play football. The Christmas games are brilliant for fans and equally great for players; I used to love playing in the Christmas games.

“It’s just getting on with the next game. We’ve had disappointments over recent weeks, but I don’t think we’re the only team; I think there are a certain number of teams at our level and every level that carries disappointment.

“But what we’ve got to make sure is that we don’t carry it through for too long. The options going forward are that we either get down or despondent, or we back everybody, and everyone gets behind each other and hopefully has a good Christmas.

“The anger is an expression, it’s just part of the frustration that people will use. Unfortunately, this is modern day football; it’s no different here at Cambridge United to perhaps what it would be at Manchester United, just on grander scale at Manchester United to what it is here.

“Ultimately, there needs to be an understanding of where we are at this moment in time.

“The key importance for this is that hopefully in two or three weeks, when the window opens, we will be able to strengthen the group and bring in a different type of player, the one we have been missing in recent times.”

Derry has not hidden his hopes to bring in a striker to the ranks in January.

The squad as a whole have been struggling to find the back of the net and replace the 22 goals contributed last season by Luke Berry, who joined Luton Town at the end of the summer transfer window.

So the head coach is determined to bring more goals and creativity to the squad, but was keen to praise the efforts of the group to try to turn their fortunes round in front of goal.

“I’ve highlighted that to the recruitment team and now it’s up to us collectively to try to affect this for the window,” said Derry.

“It’s clear as day, we need more goals running through the heartbeat of starting XI. We haven’t had that, but amongst it we’re still three points off the play-offs.

“Granted, I know that at certain times we would like to see a little bit more silky football; the fact of the matter is we’ve got no De Bruyne, we’ve got no Sterling, we’ve got no Aguero, but what we have got is a group of players who work their socks off every single day.

“Whenever they come into the training ground; whenever they go on to that field of play, it’s not for the want of trying.

“And it’s definitely, not for the want of being prepared and trying from a coaching angle as well.”

He added: “My role at this moment in time is the head coach, and I can only really go and highlight what I would like in the January window.

“Hopefully, the guys in the recruitment team can bring those players to us and we can all of have a little bit more of an enjoyable second half of the season.”

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