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Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner ‘really pleased’ with goalkeeper Will Mannion’s performances during Dimi Mitov’s injury absence

Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner has been impressed with the way Will Mannion has filled the void left by injured goalkeeper Dimi Mitov.

Bulgarian shot stopper Mitov, who won a number of club awards last season, has been sidelined since suffering ankle ligament damage during the 2-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on October 15.

Prior to Mitov’s absence Mannion had made just two Sky Bet League One appearances for the U’s since arriving in the summer of 2021, but he is currently enjoying an extended run between the posts, with his performances throughout November earning him the club’s Player of the Month award.

Cambridge United goalkeeper Will Mannion. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United goalkeeper Will Mannion. Picture: Simon Lankester

Bonner said: “He’s done really well. It’s difficult when you’re a number two goalkeeper to sit and watch games all the time. It’s hard to get in the mindset of playing games because however much you’ve got to prepare yourself for if the goalkeeper gets injured you might come on to the pitch, it doesn’t happen that often obviously.

“For him to get a run of games, I think that’s what he needed and was really crying out for. I think he’s taken to it really well. He’s made some saves, he’s taken some crosses and his distribution has been good.

“He’s a very calm personality and in lots of ways he’s played exactly how he’s trained and he was prepared.

“I know Dimi is desperate to get himself back. He’s not quite training yet and he’s the most frustrated guy at the training ground, but Will is doing well and we’re really pleased with his performances.

“He had a good month last month, he kept a good goal and he’s given us a nice presence.

“It’s good for him and his challenge is to obviously maintain this and not only do the simple things but be the guy that makes the match-winning save when it’s needed and other bits and pieces – that’s the life of a goalkeeper.

“All in all we’ve been very pleased with him and the progress that he’s made since he’s been here.”

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