Colin Calderwood praises Cambridge United' endeavour and grit in draw with Swindon Town in Sky Bet League Two
Colin Calderwood described Cambridge United’s draw with play-off chasing Swindon Town as a “really strong point” as they moved all but mathematically safe in Sky Bet League Two.
Both sides had plenty to play for but, in an end-to-end encounter, neither could find the breakthrough.
With the bottom three teams all losing, the point in the 0-0 draw means United pull nine points clear with three matches remaining.
For Swindon, it was a fourth successive draw but did move them a point closer to the play-off places.
“It was a really strong point for us,” said United head coach Calderwood. “It was obviously helped by results elsewhere but we have to make it as difficult for the other ones and if we’d snatched a goal and a winner then we would be safe.
“We’ve got another three games and we’ve got to make sure we can apply ourselves with the endeavour, grit and determination we showed today.
“In the early part of the game, there was no way it was going to be nothing each and the early part of the game I didn’t really see us having a threat at all.
“We had to change our shape a little bit but what I’m really pleased with was a performance of endeavour and grit; being second best on lots of occasions and not fluid with the ball in the first half on too many occasions and then somehow scrapping away and getting a half chance or half opportunity.
“We certainly nullified the threat they posed in the early part of the game, so I’ve got to give the team credit for that.”
Calderwood admitted the team sacrificed lots of effort and energy to try to cope with Swindon’s fluid start.
But was pleased that they got better with the ball after a slack and disjointed opening.
“On other occasions this season, we wouldn’t have got away with what we did today,” said Calderwood, “but it’s these moments where you can reinforce values, trust, the importance of running, working for one another, recovering as best you can into positions.
“We needed everyone to give their maximum. You could see some of our subs were influenced by fatigue more than anything else, and the later one was a tactical one more than anything else.”
Dimitar Mitov produced a top performance in goal, making a number of important saves.
It helped United to an eighth clean sheet since Calderwood took over as head coach.
“One of them was unorthodox and one of them was from the free-kicks, where (Swindon’s) Michael Doughty is really good around that area - I feared the worst actually,” admitted the head coach about two of Mitov’s saves.
“It reminded of the Lincoln moment when Neil Eardley hit the free kick - but Dimi was good, and he probably didn’t have to save it, it was going wide!”
United are in action at Forest Green Rovers on Easter Monday, kick off 3pm.