Cambridge United boss Derry says his players must live like monks
Cambridge United boss Shaun Derry wants his players to live like monks over the next few weeks and has warned the squad about breaking any curfew rules.
United take on Dover Athletic in their Emirates FA Cup first round replay in front of a nationwide TV audience tomorrow night (Thursday).
It is the first in a run of important games that may well go a long way to defining the club’s season.
Following the trip to Dover, United entertain Wycombe in the Sky Bet League Two on Saturday then travel to Notts County on the following Tuesday night before hosting Cheltenham at home on November 26.
It means Derry’s squad will face four important games inside 10 days and the United boss has stressed the need for the players to get as much rest and recovery time as possible between them.
Derry said: “In terms of the schedule, it is chaotic to say the least. It is a really busy month.
“The players need to make the biggest sacrifices and that means living life like monks – it is a case of eating and sleeping and getting as much rest and recovery as they can.”
Derry believes his squad are professional and he trusts them to do the right things but he took time out to remind them of how important it is.
Derry added: “The games are coming so thick and fast so we cannot get carried away.
“In terms of controlling things if anybody sees any of my players out over the next four or five weeks, I would like a phone call.
“I think the game is changing, I really do. I think there is more professionalism in modern football now. I know the group is good and I do trust them.
“But I have to re-emphasise the point and let them know what the golden rule is and it is making sacrifices.
“Because if they don’t and somebody breaks a curfew and it is a serious one, they will find themselves out of it.”
Derry will be hoping his side can avoid the potential banana skin of a cup upset at Dover.
But he will again be without Joe Pigott, who is likely to miss out because of the rules governing concussion.
Pigott was forced to leave the field with a head wound in the 2-0 home Checkatrade trophy defeat to Scunthorpe.
Derry will be looking for the same kind of performance that saw them beat Crawley 3-1 away from home last Saturday.
He added: “If you don’t work hard it doesn’t matter what ability you’ve got. When you have the ability our boys have got at this football club, you have to couple that with a high workrate.”