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Cambridge United look for riposte at Leyton Orient after end of Sky Bet League Two unbeaten run

Samir Carruthers in action for Cambridge United against Carlisle United. Picture: Keith Heppell
Samir Carruthers in action for Cambridge United against Carlisle United. Picture: Keith Heppell

Mark Bonner believes that Cambridge United’s new-found resilience will stand them in good stead after their five-match Sky Bet League Two unbeaten run was brought to an end.

The U’s failed to get going until the last 10 minutes as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Carlisle United at the Abbey Stadium last Saturday.

With the windy conditions in their favour, Carlisle had taken a one-goal lead in the first half through Lewis Alessandra and doubled their advantage through Nick Anderton in the second half. Reggie Lambe pulled a goal back for the U’s in the 82nd minute and, despite a grandstand finish, they could not get an equaliser.

It brought to an end a run of four wins and a draw from their past five matches.

“Let’s not cling on to too many positives,” said interim U’s head coach Mark Bonner.

“It’s a disappointing result; overall, it’s a fairly disappointing performance and we are disappointed with the two goals we conceded. What we do know is you can’t go on these unbeaten runs forever, but the levels probably dipped below what we’ve set in the last few weeks and we need to get ourselves back on track at Leyton Orient. No one expected the last month that we’ve had.

“We’ve surprised plenty of people and people were waiting for that [the defeat] to happen at some point.

“We didn’t want that to happen, but it has and now we have to respond to it in the way that we have responded throughout February.”

The U’s travel to Leyton Orient this Saturday (March 7), and are 13th in the table, six points and places above the O’s. And Bonner the trip to Brisbane Road is the perfect opportunity to bounce back.

“It’s a great away day for supporters, we’ll always have a good crowd there and we want to bounce back as quickly as we can,” he said.

“I think the last month gives us enough encouragement to know that we can bounce back and we’ve got a new found resilience, that there is a little bit of spirit in this team.

“I’m not worried about bouncing back, we’ve just got to be brutal with ourselves and say we could have been better than that.

“It’s not the result we wanted, it’s not the performance we aimed for but let’s pick ourselves up and go again.”

There was a blow for the U’s against Carlisle as Idris El Mizouni suffered medial ligament damage.

The injury has ruled the 19-year-old Tunisian out for the rest of the season, so he has returned to parent club Ipswich Town.

Meanwhile United have recalled Tom Knowles from his loan spell at Chelmsford City with immediate effect.

The 21-year-old midfielder had featured 24 times for the Clarets, scoring five goals.

Knowles will now be hoping to force his way into Bonner’s plans.

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