Cambridge United eager to avoid upset in form guide when Exeter City visit the Abbey in Sky Bet League Two
Mark Bonner is out to make sure that the form table is not turned on its head this Saturday (April 10) when Cambridge United host Exeter City at the Abbey.
The U’s are on a great run, with four wins and a draw from their past five games to lead the Sky Bet League Two table with six games remaining.
It is a role reversal for Exeter, who have just one win and draw from their past six games to sit outside the play-off places in eighth, three points adrift of Newport County.
But U’s head coach Bonner has talked glowingly in the past about the set-up at Exeter, including manager Matt Taylor, and is not reading much into their recent run.
“I guess the idea is that they are consistently high achievers in this league in and around the play-off positions doing it with lots of homegrown players,” said Bonner.
“They have got a really good model as a club that we’ve got massive respect for, and the manager has done a good job there.
“Whilst their form in recent weeks has dipped, we know they are in a position to really try to attach themselves to those play-off positions.
“They’ve got goalscorers in the team, Bowman and Jay have both got good goal returns this year. Randell Williams being out injured - now returning to fitness - is a big one for them, and they’ve obviously missed him.
“They have missed a few other injuries that they’ve had throughout the last few weeks which has caused them a bit of a loss. Nicky Law leaving in January [to join USL Championship side Indy Eleven], they lost a bit of creativity there.
“They’ve still got plenty in their team, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before that turns around because all runs come to an end, we know that.
“Everybody beats everybody, and we’ve got to make sure it’s not this weekend that our good run ends, and their disappointing run ends because we want to come out on the right side of it.”
There is certainly lots at stake for both sides, as United will be out to maintain their lead at the top and the seven-point buffer zone inside the automatic promotion places.
And Exeter will be all too aware that the play-off chase is heating up, with just five points separating seventh and 12th.
“It’s a really open competition for those play-off spots,” said Bonner.
“I think from their perspective they will be desperate to get themselves back into winning form, we’ve got to be ready for that at the weekend and understand they are chasing something.
“We’ve got to play with the same kind of freedom and quality we have played with to make sure we are competitive against them and try to dominate parts of the game as well, because it’s a big game for both teams.”