Jack Iredale highlights Cambridge United's defensive unity in victory over Bolton Wanderers
Jack Iredale was delighted to help Cambridge United secure a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanders in Sky Bet League One.
It was a brilliant defensive performance from the U's as they were prepared to cede possession to their visitors but set themselves up not to be broken down.
The plan worked to perfection as the Trotters struggled to find a way through, and with United showing some style and swagger with their passing in the first 25 minutes, got the only goal of the game through Shilow Tracey in the 16th minute.
“It was really tough. When you come away with a clean sheet against a team that moves the ball as well as Bolton, you’re going to be delighted with a clean sheet," said the United left-back.
“To give the boys that platform up top, the boys that can do the magic stuff with the ball, that is what we’re there to do.
“They helped us massively in the defensive side, and then they went and delivered in the offensive side and got the crucial goal. We’re all really happy in there in terms of the defensive work rate and in terms of winning the game."
There should be no underestimating the sheer enjoyment that United seemed to have in defending against Bolton, which was perhaps embodied by the back slapping and hugs late in the game after some good play from Lloyd Jones - and the supporters at the Abbey loved it just as much.
“It shows you the mentality we have in this team,” said Iredale. "We want to protect our goal with everything we have and give the boys up front that platform to go and score.
“You see with Lloydy shielding the ball out there, and everyone is getting around him. Willow (George Williams) is clearing stuff off the line, I’ve had that tackle up there and the fans have got right behind me as well.
“It just gives everyone that little physical boost because your back might be against the wall, especially against Bolton who’re popping it everywhere.
“You need that little boost and we try to give that too each other as much as possible and the fans help us as well so it’s really appreciated.”
The victory was the second week in a row that a side arrived at the Abbey unbeaten, and departed with the recorded no longer intact.
“We don’t want anyone coming here and having an easy game, that’s something we’ve set as a goal for ourselves,” said Iredale.
“We want to be a horrible team to play against, we want to make this place really tough to visit and so far so good, but there are a lot more games to go and we can’t took our foot off the pedal.”
He added: “We’ll take confidence from the points we’ve gathered so far, it’s been a really tough period. I think the international break is coming at a welcome time for some of the boys just to get pieced back together again after such a busy period.
“We’ve been happy but we are keeping our feet on the ground because there is such a long way to go this season.”