Joe Dunne eager to make the most of pre-season at Cambridge United
Opportunities for U's to experiment different ideas
Cambridge United back in training at Clare College sports ground, Bentley Rd, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
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Joe Dunne is looking to use pre-season to implement new ideas at Cambridge United.
The squad reported back at their Clare College training base, and the U’s head coach was delighted with the shape in which the players returned.
The target is August 4 and the opening match of the season at Port Vale, but between now and then there are nine friendly matches, so game time is crucial.
“We’re going to do our best on that, that’s why we’ve taken so many friendly games based on the fact we can work off minutes rather than selections and formations,” said Dunne. “We will do that anyway, and the key thing for us is we have players who know the responsibility of the role they are going to play.
“We will mix the teams consistently. You get this thing sometimes that ‘you’ve got to go and play your best team’ and so on, but we just want the players to be able to play in whatever system or structure we choose and we will look at that through the game situation.”
So there will certainly be a variety between work with and without the ball to keep the players focused and on their toes in the build-up to the new Sky Bet League Two campaign.
“Probably some new ideas to tweak it a touch because I don’t want to dismantle and cast aside what we did at the back end of last season, so I’m going to take a lot of that but also try other things,” said Dunne.
“This is the time to try it, so we’ve been working on different structures and we’ve already had that in the 15 games we’ve had. We can implement one or two ideas in pre-season.”
And it means striking the balance between getting in the hard yards and getting in the tactical and technical elements.
“Fitness of course because they have had a bit of a period off,” he said.
“We have a bit more consistency because we have trained well in the last period of the season – the last 15 games.
“We have been quite intense with our training so we can move that into pre-season and then just add bits and pieces from the sports science point of view.
“I don’t change it too much, some people like to run all day and every day, and that’s fine but we think we can do both; with the ball and without the ball.
“We get fit and try things, especially in a game situation.”