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Cambridge United assistant head coach Barry Corr says ‘brilliant to take a point’ against League One table-toppers Portsmouth





Cambridge United assistant head coach Barry Corr admitted it was ‘brilliant to take a point’ after tonight’s 0-0 draw against League One table-toppers Portsmouth at the Abbey Stadium.

The game yielded few chances throughout but the best fell to Jack Lankester, whos volley from point blank range was fired straight at Will Norris in the visitors’ goal.

But even though the U’s winless league record ticks over to eight games, it was a much improved performance to Saturday’s display against struggling Cheltenham Town.

Cambridge United assistant head coach Barry Corr said tonight’s draw with Portsmouth was a ‘brilliant point’ Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United assistant head coach Barry Corr said tonight’s draw with Portsmouth was a ‘brilliant point’ Picture: Simon Lankester

"We were obviously playing the team top of the league with lots of quality, but the way we applied ourselves with energy and commitment was really pleasing,” said Corr.

“Obviously it was brilliant to take a point out of the game as well and it’s something that we can use as a baseline for us. We can build on that to take it into Saturday.

“The performance at Cheltenham wasn’t good enough. It was just too flat. That is what a Cambridge United performance looks like tonight and the players have to understand that. I think that’s what you’ll see as a baseline going forward.

Liam Bennett pushes Cambridge United forward Picture: Simon Lankester
Liam Bennett pushes Cambridge United forward Picture: Simon Lankester

“We had quite a good conversation, the staff and the players, and we spoke about what our performances need to look like and we can’t always control whether we win or lose, but we can control how much we commit ourselves to the game, defending our box and getting that clean sheet. That has to be the standard and everyone had to look after each other on the pitch.”

Head coach Mark Bonner gave midfielder Jordan Cousins his first league start in a Cambridge shirt and he impressed Corr, as did the rest of the squad.

“I thought he (Cousins) played that role brilliantly well. He’s a really good player and he’s played so much of his career at a high level. I think we’re lucky to have him and we just want to keep him fit and keep him on the pitch because he can be a big asset to the club,” said Corr.

“We made a little bit of a change and tweaked it in midfield to allow us to get after them a little bit higher up the pitch. I’m sure everybody saw Diggers (Paul Digby) get after them like a man possessed, jump pressing their centre halves. There was so much energy and I think the supporters thrived off that which got an atmosphere going. Everybody put in such a shift tonight and we said that has to be the minimum.

James Brophy looks to make an opening for the hosts Picture: Simon Lankester
James Brophy looks to make an opening for the hosts Picture: Simon Lankester

“Maybe we lacked a bit of quality in the final moments but that might be because we put so much out of possession work, but that will come.”

Despite the best chance of the game falling to the hosts, experienced Ryan Bennett made a fantastic last ditch challenge which embodied the defensive unity in the U’s tonight.

“We defended our box really well and every player put in a really good defensive performance without the ball,” said Corr.

Cambridge United held Portsmouth to a stalemate at the Abbey Stadium tonight Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United held Portsmouth to a stalemate at the Abbey Stadium tonight Picture: Simon Lankester

“I think they limited us to some chances and maybe some moments in and around the box that we didn’t quite make the most of. We still had our moments, it wasn’t just one way traffic and we’re really happy with that – especially against a really positive team.

“They’re really good lads and they’re brilliant to work with. Sometimes you find yourself in difficult moments and it can be a lack of confidence that can come across as not as much commitment to the game. But there’s no question, everyone is committed to the cause.

“We’ve got loads of quality in the team and we’ll be fine.”



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