Cambridge United wary of the goal threat posed by Fleetwood Town in Sky Bet League One
Cambridge United will be cautious of the attacking talents of Fleetwood Town when they visit the Abbey on Saturday (September 25).
After drawing blanks in two of their first Sky Bet League One games, the Cod Army have found their shooting boots since.
They notched three against Cheltenham Town, four away at Rotherham United and scored two against Sunderland last weekend in a 2-2 draw. It has helped them get two wins and two draws from their opening seven games.
It is this threat that United head coach Mark Bonner will be eager to nullify on Saturday.
“They have a definite goal threat. If you score four at Rotherham and then you score two against Sunderland, you know you are up against a team that has real fire-power,” he said.
“They have signed well. Callum Morton is a real threat for them at the top of the pitch.
“The two Garner boys have done very well for them, certainly Ged Garner, and Joe, a recent signing at the back end of the window, is a really experienced player that is going to have a part to play in their team.
“We think they are strong in that sense. To play against a team that plays more with a front two than some will be a good challenge and interesting one for us.
“It is certainly a team that when you look at the games they’ve played, they didn’t win for the first three but the games they’ve had have been really, really tough.
“They have played against a lot of the top sides, or teams that you perceive at the top end of the table.
“Some of the results they’ve had recently have been excellent, it’s similar to us really - we’ve played some top teams and taken some points off them. I think it’s got the makings of a really good game.”
Bonner will also be able to pit his wits against experienced Fleetwood manager Simon Grayson, who has managed the likes of Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Preston and Sunderland.
“He has had a super career in terms of promotion and successful times at different clubs, and managed hundreds and hundreds of games,” said the U’s boss.
“Gary (Waddock, United’s assistant head coach) knows him, and has come across him at different times, I haven’t myself and I really look forward to meeting him.
“What you know when you come up against these coaches that have been around for so long is they are very experienced at riding through difficult periods, very experienced at keeping momentum in teams.
“And obviously have that wealth of experience and game knowledge in terms of changing shape and changing structure in the team, and they have shown that quite often this season.
“They have been willing to change the shape of their team at the start or certainly in game to get the result they need.
“I think we will need a bit of flexibility in our approach tactically and an ability to adjust as the game goes on, because we know they’re a team that do that themselves.”
Wes Hoolahan has missed the last two games with a muscular problem in his chest and went for a scan in midweek, but there is no current update on his availability.
Keeper Dimi Mitov is back after missing training in the early part of the week after taking a whack to the shin in the 2-1 win at Portsmouth.
Bonner will also assess those that featured in the 1-0 win over Spurs under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night.
“I think we have to be a bit mindful of some of the boys that played on Tuesday because for them it is the first game for a while,” he added.
“The ball was in play 72 minutes which has never happened before so physically they had to do quite a lot of work the other night and haven’t done it for a while.”