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Late winner can help to galvanise Cambridge United, says Jabo Ibehre

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Cambridge United striker Jabo Ibehre. Picture: Cambridge United
Cambridge United striker Jabo Ibehre. Picture: Cambridge United

U's end good week on a high

Jabo Ibehre described a “buzzing” dressing room after Cambridge United earned a gritty 1-0 win over Macclesfield in Sky Bet League Two.

The 35-year-old striker got his first goal of an injury-affected season, and he believes the win could help galvanise the squad after they earned seven points from a possible nine in seven days.

Ibehre struck in the 80th minute of a hard-fought affair to give the U’s their first home league win since August 11.

“You want to make your home pitch your advantage,” said Ibehre.

“When you’re away you have the opposition’s crowd and stadium, so ideally you want to be better at home.

“It starts to ponder on you a little bit ‘oh, we haven’t had a result’ but I don’t think you fear anything.

“You go out there to apply yourself the same way, it’s not like we haven’t played some good stuff at home. For whatever reason, it hasn’t quite happened for us at times.

“We’ve kept going and now with the confidence of results and the belief that we’ve continued to have, it’s going to help us go in the right direction.”

Ibehre admits that with the luck the way it has been, he feared that his sweetly-struck shot would hit the upright and bounce clear, but instead it nestled inside the net, much to his relief.

“In gritty games when you win late on it can galvanise you a lot more than dominating a game, being 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go and you’re comfortable,” he said.

“Sometimes, getting a last-minute winner, everyone in the dressing room is buzzing, and it just gives you that extra bit of endorphins and happiness, and sends everyone home buzzing.

“We just need to capitalise on that. To get a result at home, because we haven’t picked up a positive result in a while, everything is going in the right direction so hopefully the tide is slowly turning.

“We will not get ahead of ourselves, but hopefully we will keep climbing.”

Centre-back George Taft believes that two wins – over Swindon Town and Macclesfield – and the draw at leaders Lincoln City will see a return to the momentum that served them so well last season.

“It was kind of our motto last year: onto the next one. It was ‘we’re going to get in, do the job, get out and that’s what we did’,” said the 24-year-old.

“Especially last season, Joe (Dunne, the head coach) would say let’s get in here, do the job, get showered, get on the bus and get straight back to work on the Monday and I think we’re getting back into that now.

“I think it was just individual errors [for why it had been missing]. I don’t think we were playing badly.

“We were passing really well, creating chances and making more chances than other teams, but it was just individual errors – I was involved in that, and it was just getting our head round that and putting it behind us; and I think we have.”

The free-flowing football may not have been as evident against Macclesfield, but it showed that the U’s know how to dig out a win.

“If we’re going to win ugly, we’ll take it,” added Taft.

“We’ve been playing well and losing, so I’d rather play ugly all season and win to get up that league and see where we can be.”

United face Grimsby Town at home this Saturday (November 2).

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