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Gary Waddock wants Cambridge United to sign off on a high at home to Cheltenham Town in League One

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Cambridge United v Cheltenham Town. (44529850)
Cambridge United v Cheltenham Town. (44529850)

Gary Waddock wants Cambridge United to deliver a match-winning performance to end an impressive League One campaign on a high at home to Cheltenham Town this Saturday (April 30, kick off 12.30pm).

The U’s have proved many doubters wrong this season with the way in which they have taken promotion in their stride to finish comfortably in mid-table.

It is a similar story for Cheltenham, who were promoted as champions alongside United from League Two last year.

“They’ve had a really good season. I’m sure they will be satisfied with where they are in the league”, said United assistant head coach Waddock.

“The manager, Michael (Duff), has done an extremely good job down there with his staff and the players.

“They will be really satisfied with the season but also they will want to finish on a high.”

There may also be an added incentive for the Robins, who were humbled on their home turf by United in December, losing 5-0 thanks to Joe Ironside’s hat-trick, Sam Smith’s effort and an own goal.

“It was a good evening for us, but that could be extra motivation for them to come here and get a result for themselves,” said Waddock.

“We’ve just got to take care of ourselves and make sure whoever is selected goes out to perform at the levels we ask, and we get the result we want.

“We want to finish off with a win. I don’t think that would define the season just gone or have an impact on the new campaign, but it would be nice to finish with a win in front of our home crowd but we’ve had a good season up to this point and that won’t change.”

United are a place and two points above Cheltenham in the table in 14th, but the U’s still have 12th place in their sights - to finish best of the rest in a division of two divisions, but there is of course the prospect that the match could peter out into the clichéd end-of-season affair

“Everybody will say that because of where we are and where Cheltenham are in the league, but we want to win the game so we’re going to approach it in the manner that we always do,” said Waddock.

“We will prepare properly for the game, we want to win and be thoroughly professional about that.

“We want to get the job done. We may change personnel and if we can win the game 7-6 that would be great, but I will take a 1-0 just to win it.”

Given that it is a fixture between two sides promoted from League Two last season, it provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress that the U’s have made.

And Waddock feels that this campaign matches what they did last year.

“The promotion was fantastic, and it was a great year for everybody at the club but this year the standard of players that we’re coming up against, clubs that we’re coming up against, the calibre of manager and everything else that you throw into that mix, I think this is on a par with it,” he said.

“To be able to go into the summer knowing that we’re going to compete again at this level next season, I think is on a par.

“We’re coming up against massive clubs with history, every game is different, tactically it’s different whereas last year, in the main, you could predict what formation teams were going to play.

“This year, it changes week by week so that side of it has been challenging and very good. There are some massive clubs in this division and it’s great when you go to their stadiums. Last week at Sunderland there were 30,000 attending the game. It wasn’t the most memorable afternoon for us, but we’ve had some memorable ones this year.”

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