Jabo Ibehre and Uche Ikpeazu blossoming as a partnership at Cambridge United
Strikers on target in Coventry City win
Jabo Ibehre and Uche Ikpeazu were praised for their intelligent play after heading Cambridge United to a 2-1 victory over Coventry City last Saturday.
The strikers nodded in a goal each, with Ibehre’s effort giving United the lead in the first half and, after Coventry had equalised, Ikpeazu got the match winner in the 83rd minute.
Ikpeazu’s header came from a cross by Piero Mingoia, who also set up the first, and was a result of some of the work done in training.
“To be fair to the big man, we’re trying to help him with his game. We’re trying to get different types of components into his final game,” said U’s head coach Shaun Derry.
“And him pulling on the far stick and getting his head on the ball, we’ve not seen that since he’s been here. But that goal is testament for all the work we’ve put on the training pitch for him because we feel he can develop even further.
“Alongside him, I thought Jabo gave a really disciplined centre forward’s performance. It allows not all the pressure to be put on Uche Ikpeazu.
“It’s always nice to win. As a manager, you don’t care who scores them but it’s even better when you see two strikers in form.”
The duo proved to be a menace to Coventry throughout the game, and their workrate and wilful running and movement gave the visitors’ plenty of headaches.
“I thought they played with an intelligence level,” said Derry. “We tried to stretch the pitch and play off each other nicely, and I thought they got close at the right times, and stayed away from each other at the right times.
“It allowed Jevani Brown, Piero (Mingoia) and George Maris in team to just grab hold of those little pockets to play in.
“They are great outlets for us, but they are good players.
“This is a new group, we’ve adopted a different style of play and a different type of system that we’ve been working on for the last four or five games, and I feel like we’re getting better every week.”
And Mingoia was delighted to have a role in both goals.
“Having two [up front] is an extra man constantly in the box so it increases the chances of someone getting on the end of it [a cross],” he said.
“Fortunately, both of them went on to their heads and the boys were brilliant and took their chances.”