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Cambridge United facing toughest threat to their unbeaten Sky Bet League One home form with visit of Barnsley

Head coach Mark Bonner is expecting Cambridge United to come up against their ‘toughest’ home test of the season so far when Barnsley visit the Abbey Stadium on Saturday.

The U’s have been faultless so far from their opening four Sky Bet League One fixtures on their own patch, seeing off MK Dons, Exeter City, Burton Albion and Lincoln City.

However, with the visiting Tykes having won at Sheffield Wednesday and claimed a point from their trip to league-leading Ipswich Town in recent weeks, Bonner believes that the most thorough examination of his side's winning record awaits at the weekend.

Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner is preparing his side to face Barnsley on Saturday. Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner is preparing his side to face Barnsley on Saturday. Picture: Ben Phillips

“They’ve had some very good results. I think they’ll be frustrated with the result on Tuesday night (1-1 draw at home with Port Vale) but they've had some excellent results against some of the top teams,” he said.

“They’re a good side, very strong and they’ve got some good experience and some really good young players.

“Michael Duff’s record and the type of teams he creates make them a very hard team to play against.

“They don’t give up too many chances so it’s as tough as it comes. It will be our toughest opponent at the Abbey so far and a really difficult game but we want to try to continue the form we’ve had there and the performance level we’ve got to because we know we’ll have to be at that level to compete with them this weekend.”

Not only will United be looking to preserve their impressive home form, they also have the added incentive of putting Tuesday night’s disappointment behind them.

Bonner admitted his team were second best throughout the 2-1 defeat at Cheltenham Town, and he is keen to see a reaction as quickly as possible.

“You don’t want them ever. You never want to be the team that’s either getting beat or playing in a way that isn’t reflective of yourself and the standards we’ve set so far in the season,” he said.

“The more times you go through this cycle, the more seasons you watch and are involved in a team, it’s what happens. It’s up and down, you weave in and out and the key for us is to try and put through as many runs of games with consecutive good results for us and try and avoid runs of games the opposite way.

“We’ll try to get ourselves back on track at the weekend which will be really difficult. It’s a tough game against an opponent that are very, very strong – obviously a Championship team last year.

“You roll on and get on with it. We know we’ve got a good squad and we’ve got good options this weekend as to what we do with the team.”

Bonner also confirmed that summer signing Brandon Haunstrup will remain absent with a knee injury, but the defender will soon resume training with the squad.

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