Stay focused on task in hand is message to Cambridge United ahead of Stevenage test

PUBLISHED: 11:01 31 August 2018

Barry Corr scored twice for Cambridge United at Stevenage last year.

Barry Corr scored twice for Cambridge United at Stevenage last year.

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s bid to bounce back in Sky Bet League Two

Joe Dunne wants to make sure Cambridge United keep their focus and clarity as a team.

They make the short trip to Stevenage in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow, aiming to bounce back from the 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town at the Abbey last Saturday.

It was an error that provided the Robins the chance to make pull off a smash-and-grab raid with a goal in the 66th minute, after the U’s had dominated.

And head coach Dunne believes they must concentrate on the task in hand and what they are doing.

“We know where we’re lacking a little bit in certain games,” he said. “We’ve been punished in shot-to-goal conversion rate.

“It’s been super high against us. Two shots on target by Cheltenham, one was the goal and one was the save [which led to the rebound for the goal]; that’s a punishing stat.

“My job is to keep our clarity as a team. We have been training well this week and my message will always be the same to the players, stay focused.

“I do focus on positives, but we never sweep things under the carpet.

“We make sure we always try to improve the things we don’t do well and I think when you study the goals, shot conversion rate is high.

“We have got good players in our team, and we have got players who are slowly coming back to a high performance way of playing.

“We’ve created a lot of chances, and I think any manager will tell you, if it was zero points, zero chances, zero performance rate, that’s a different story; but I don’t think we’re there.”

Substitute Barry Corr struck twice to give United a 2-0 win at the Lamex Stadium in April, and while Stevenage have been applauded for their start this season and may be 12 places higher than the U’s in the table, they are only three points better off.

“We had a good win there last year, of course,” said Dunne.

“There have been a lot of changes there since. Dino [Maamria, the Stevenage boss] has managed to get in everyone he wanted, and probably more.

“There have been a lot of things going on there with new staff. I know the assistant manager really well, Simon Hollyhead.

“When it comes to the day of reckoning, sometimes what happened last year doesn’t count for this year so we have to make sure we’re in a proper mental state to play against this team in a local derby; and a derby game that we’re going to try to win.”

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