Injuries start to clear for Cambridge United as Stevenage lie in wait in Sky Bet League Two
U's gradually seeing players return to fitness
Cambridge United are edging towards a clean bill of health across their squad.
The new Sky Bet League Two season has seen them beset by absentees, with up to six players out at one point.
However, there does finally seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel for head coach Joe Dunne.
Paul Lewis has been back in training since last week, Harrison Dunk is also in with the rest of the squad, Barry Corr is making improvement after his concussion and centre-back Greg Taylor joined in training today (Thursday).
There was also good news with regards to George Taft.
In his post-match interview after the Cheltenham Town defeat, Dunne feared that Taft had would have to go through the head injury protocol, but he recovered quickly after the game.
“I think the treatment room could possibly be empty other than one or two knocks and niggles so we will have quite a healthy squad out there,” said Dunne.
“They’re not all 100 per cent fit but at least we have a chance to do some training with a good group.
“It makes such a difference when everybody congregates on the training pitch and you get that first five minutes of training where you might just get some balls moving and have a bit of healthy discussion and banter going on.
“It’s just a different feel. It makes a difference from eight players to having 16 or 18, it just makes it a lot easier.
“It’s good that as we get to today we can have more players on the training ground.”
Dunne confirmed that there will be no new loan additions on transfer deadline day, but believes that with a clean bill of health, the squad is well set for the season.
It has just been the injuries that have hampered them.
“We can manage to get teams out there and we can manage to still try to play the best way we can,” said Dunne.
“I think, overall, my squad deserves a lot of credit for how we have managed to get in some good performances when we’ve had to deal with injuries and players not playing 100 per cent fit with the ins and outs that have happened.
“The squad deserve a lot of credit.
“We’re getting players back fit, the squad will be back where it was before we went to Port Vale.
“Probably by next week, we will be the strongest we’ve been, unless of course anything else happens, which you can’t prep for.
“Is the squad big enough/small enough? I think the squad, if it’s healthy, is definitely manageable. You talk about a small squad, for a long time we knew where we stood – we mentioned cutting our cloth and that’s where we’re at.
“A small number of additions and we work with what we’ve got. We pride ourselves on the training ground, we pride ourselves as coaches, we work exceptionally hard, we have a great ethos of trying to help people.”