Shaun Derry hails professionalism of Mark Roberts

PUBLISHED: 18:36 29 September 2016 | UPDATED: 18:44 29 September 2016

Cambridge United defender Mark Roberts. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge United defender Mark Roberts. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s boss lauds centre-back

Shaun Derry has praised the character of Mark Roberts after the defender’s impact on his return to the Cambridge United team.

The 32-year-old centre-back made his first start of the season in the 2-1 win at Newport County last Saturday, and followed that up by grabbing the only goal of the game in the midweek victory over Yeovil Town.

And U’s boss Derry was delighted for the former Stevenage man.

“First and foremost, I’m really chuffed for Robbo,” said Derry. “He is a top man, a real, real top guy, even in the dark days of not playing.

“They are dark days as a footballer because that’s what you want to do, you want to pull on the shirt and you want to have that feeling on a Saturday night of looking at yourself in the mirror and saying you have earned your wages that week.

“And sadly for Mark, he has not been able to feel that way up until the last two games.

“I have to take my hat off to him and say that even in the times when he has not played he has just been an ultra, ultra pro.”

Derry hailed the work ethic of Roberts in training, which prompted his inclusion in the team for Newport, with the defender’s only other involvement in the first team this season coming as a substitute in the defeat at Colchester United.

“He knows what he has achieved on the training ground to put himself back into the fore, and he has taken his chance,” he said.

“I always say your chance is never taken, you are constantly being monitored and you are constantly being judged.

“But I think that the performance levels that he has managed to put in the last two games have been very high.

“I never judge the team on reputations alone, I always judge on what they have produced in the week and the quality of his training pushed him to the front of the queue.

“And I thought he produced a really strong performance on Saturday, and an equally impressive one on Tuesday night capped off with a goal which was great for him.”

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