Cambridge United ready to go on the front foot
Attacking ambition from the U's
Shaun Derry is looking to harness the scoring potential of the Cambridge United squad.
The U’s produced a promising performance in the 0-0 draw against Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two last Saturday, with the only thing missing being goals.
And there was another encouraging display from a much-changed team against Northampton Town in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, when they drew 1-1 only to be beaten 4-3 on penalties.
So the head coach is now looking for the likes of Medy Elito, George Maris and Jevani Brown, who impressed in the diamond against Morecambe, to help replace the goals lost through the sale of Luke Berry.
“For us to allow them to perhaps take that mantle of what Luke’s had in the past, what they have got to do is bring goals into the game,” said Derry.
“That’s something that we’re going to be working on, but it’s early days in terms of Luke leaving and them three, in particular, I thought played well last week and I thought a goal or two would have really capped that performance off.
“We took that level into Tuesday night against a strong Northampton team, and I thought we did well again.”
And now that the transfer window has closed, Derry admits that it will just take a bit of time for the team to bed down.
“I’m glad the window’s shut so that everyone knows where they are,” he said. “I think with this window and the positives and negatives that it brings, it creates uncertainty for the first four or five games of the season, and that’s not just here, that’s at every club.
“I think it’s important we get our heads down and just do our job quietly and make more consistent performances, similar to what we have seen in the last three games.”
Uche Ikpeazu, Ade Azeez and Jabo Ibehre have all shown promise in patches, as individuals and in pairs, and it is likely that partnerships will Derry’s preferred option.
“I think those that have watched us, especially in the performance against Morecambe, I want us to be like that,” he said.
“I want us to be on the front foot and I want us to have that rotation in the midfield and have that threat up top as well.
“To play two centre forwards, we’ve been looking at that for while and we’ve not been able to do that because you’ve got to get the best out of the players that you’ve got.
“Luke Berry was our biggest goal threat, but he was only our biggest goal threat as a No 10.
“For us now to have two centre forwards on the pitch, we’re hopeful we can be on the front foot a little bit more.”
United have signed George Taft on loan from Mansfield until January.
The centre-back had a previous spell at the U’s in the 2015-16 season which was cut short because of injury.
But Adam McGurk left United by mutual consent, and has subsequently signed for Morecambe.