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Cambridge United get clean bill of health ahead of trip to Portsmouth in League One

Leon Davies in action for Cambridge United. Picture: Simon Lankester
Leon Davies in action for Cambridge United. Picture: Simon Lankester

Cambridge United will have an almost full-strength squad from which to pick for their trip to Portsmouth in Sky Bet League One on Saturday (September 18).

With the exception of long-term absentee Greg Taylor, the U’s are carrying no injuries as they head to Fratton Park looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 5-1 home defeat to Lincoln City.

There is even a promising update on Leon Davies, who is getting closer to making a comeback after hip surgery. It is hoped that he may be able to feature in the EFL trophy match at home to Tottenham Hotspur under-21 next Tuesday (September 21).

“The last two weeks have probably been quite good for him as he has had some full training sessions and some big group sessions because we’ve been able to do a little bit more,” said United head coach Mark Bonner.

“All being well, we’re hopefully going to see if we can keep him going and, in an ideal world, we would have him in the squad on Tuesday against Tottenham.

“We will just see how he goes over the next few days and see if we can get him a little bit closer towards it.”

Having been out of the frame for so long, Davies’ last start was back in January, it had been suggested that he may go out on loan to build up some minutes under his belt.

But Bonner says that has not been considered yet.

“I think a little bit will depend on the international breaks at our end, and if we have games cancelled we can probably organise our own in-house games,” said the boss.

“That will be better for us because we’ve got access to the players then and we will be able to do a little bit more with him close up.

“He is in the latter stages of training regularly. At some point that [a loan] might be the way to go but we haven’t really thought that through at the minute.

“We want to keep him around us, and keep building him up at the minute.”

There was something of a surprise absentee from last week’s squad for the clash with Lincoln, with Adam May omitted from the 18 on duty.

“I think we’ve got probably a squad of about 20 to fit into 18 that are really fit and ready to go,” said Bonner.

“Adam and Ben Worman missed out at the weekend, along with Will Mannion. We’ve probably got three really fit and ready ones to come in that have got to miss out every week.

“Selection wise, you’re trying to get the balance of your bench right.

“We were playing with more attacking players, so we wanted those options and we wanted Jubril (Okedina) to be on the bench because we needed that defensive cover that we haven’t had so much.

“It was just the balance of the squad really.”

But the midfielder, who used to play for Portsmouth, has responded to the disappointment in training this week.

“Adam has done exactly what you would want your players to do in these situations,” said Bonner.

“He has been incredibly disappointed by it, but he has got his head screwed on and shown the attitude that is right.

“You have to respect those decisions as much as you don’t like them, respect your team-mates and respect the fact that you’ve got to work your way back in and train with the right attitude and intensity throughout the week. He has done that this week.

“Sure, like many others, he will have his own reasons for wanting to be involved this weekend but we will see over the next couple of days how he does and try to pick the 18 that we think gives us the best balance for later in the game.”

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