Cambridge United firing on full fitness for home clash with Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two
Mark Bonner has an almost clean bill of health to report as Cambridge United’s promotion bid faces a big Easter weekend double-header, starting at home to Morecambe tomorrow (Good Friday, 3pm).
The only question mark hangs over the fitness of Harvey Knibbs, who is training intermittently because of a knee problem so a late decision will be required.
But otherwise the squad is looking in good shape for the clash with the Shrimps at the Abbey, an ideal situation for the head coach with a trip to third-placed Tranmere Rovers on Easter Monday.
“We will wait to see who plays on what days,” said Bonner at a press call on Thursday morning.
“Everybody is up to speed so that helps in that sense. We were really manipulating the squad over that month [February] to get people fit, but now we’re in the position where you can just see with the changes we were able to make and players not even making squads or getting on the bench.
“We’ve got a really good depth to us. It really helps, and we knew it would, going into the last 10 games.
“It’s certainly helped us in the last couple of weeks being able to train properly and the build-up to games for the first time in a while.
“In terms of how we use everyone and what we do, that will be decided game by game, on tactically what we think it’s going to take and how people come out of games as well.
“We’re at a stage in the season where we’ve played a lot of football and we need to make sure we’re full of energy when we go into games.
“No doubt, the whole squad will be utilised over the remaining number of games we’ve got.”
Keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle could be back on the bench for the U’s having represented Guyana in the World Cup qualifiers for the past two weeks.
He was an unused substitute in Guyana's 3-0 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago, but started in the 4-0 win over Bahamas.
With an elite sportsperson exemption, the protocols may allow him to return to the United squad.
And Bonner has been pleased with the development of the shot-stopper, especially after the injury to Dimi Mitov.
“He hasn’t played a lot of football because of the number of games we’ve not been able to organise really,” he said.
“There was a period of the season where we were going to get him out on loan and then the levels below us stopped playing, and were really uncertain as to what would happen so that became difficult.
“Dimi’s injury meant he was accelerated into the squad a little bit more and probably since then, when he has felt a little bit closer to it, he has made some really good progress.”
Bonner added: “We’ve got a good group of goalkeepers and Bunny (goalkeeping coach Mark Bunn) is working them well, we’ve seen that throughout the year with the two that have played but the other boys underneath it are making good progress as well.”