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Cambridge United set to face ‘fluid’ opposition during Sky Bet League One trip to Fleetwood Town

Head coach Mark Bonner has conceded that his Cambridge United side will be coming up against unpredictable opposition when they take to the pitch away at Fleetwood Town tomorrow.

Fifteenth-placed Fleetwood, who are five points better off than the U’s in 20th, have been Sky Bet League One’s draw specialists so far this term with a division-high 11 of their 21 outings having ended all square.

And Bonner is expecting a tough afternoon at the Highbury Stadium, where his players will be aiming to build upon the confidence gained from last weekend’s impressive performance in the 0-0 home draw with promotion-hunting Plymouth Argyle.

Paul Digby in action for Cambridge United against Fleetwood Town last season. Picture: Simon Lankester
Paul Digby in action for Cambridge United against Fleetwood Town last season. Picture: Simon Lankester

“They’re always in games all the way through and defensively they’ve got a good record,” said Bonner, who has revealed that United are aiming to be active during next month’s transfer window.

“I think they recruited really well in the summer and they’ve got a lot of attacking options, a lot of athleticism in their team.

“They’ve got one or two injuries at the minute which has probably limited what they’ve been able to do, but a lot of their attacking players are able to play in different shapes and different systems.

“In terms of their starting XI it can play in different ways, it can play as a back three and in terms of wide players, they can play anywhere across the front end of the pitch.

“There is quite a lot of variety with the players they’ve got and it won’t always be easy to guess from their starting team who is where. They’re a fluid team who make you defend, they get the ball forward with longer passes, with dribbles and with counter-attacks they’re excellent.

“It will be a really good game and hopefully we can give as good as we get in that sense.

“For us it’s about going up there and trying to mirror the performance levels of last week and put together a consistent level of performances over the next few weeks.

“We’ve got a number of games coming up that will challenge us. We want to try to see the consistent performance levels again, but also the consistent points-scoring days, that’s important for us now.”

Meanwhile, United’s preparations for the long journey to the north west coast have been severely hampered by this week’s snow and freezing conditions.

“We haven’t been on the grass and we won’t get on grass from one game to the next,” added Bonner.

“I’ve never known it like this in Cambridge, it’s the worst (it’s been) in my 11 years and we’ve never had a period where we’ve not been able to get on either surface.

“The boys have had a gym day, a couple of days (training) indoors and the university has been great with their facilities.

“We’ll travel up on Friday and use the gym at the hotel so we’re massively restricted this week in how and what we’re able to do.

“It’s a shame because training has been really good the last couple of weeks and we’ve really benefited from that.

“But the attitude of the players has been class so hopefully we can turn up, get on the grass on Saturday and put in a performance.

“It’s one of those you’ve just got to deal with. In every season there’s always a week that’s a bit of a rough week, which is a bit of a rascal, and this is certainly it.”

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