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Mark Bonner hopes Cambridge United can harness the potential of Bournemouth loanee Sam Sherring

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Cambridge United defender Sam Sherring. Picture: Cambridge United (54224684)
Cambridge United defender Sam Sherring. Picture: Cambridge United (54224684)

Mark Bonner has high hopes that new loan signing Sam Sherring can harness his potential at Cambridge United.

The 21-year-old has joined from Championship club Bournemouth on loan until the end of the season to bolster the U’s defensive options.

Sherring spent the first half of the season out on loan at Accrington Stanley, so is already aware of the demands of League One.

“He is really good with the ball, versatile, can play across any of the back four - he has played in all the positions, and played in a back three,” said U’s head coach Bonner.

“He is one that we’ve watched quite a bit of. We were watching in the summer when he was in and around the first team in pre-season with Bournemouth.

“He has had some experience at this level now, and I think it will be a good test for him. You can’t pretend to know him completely until you’ve worked with him and he’s in your team.

“Those opportunities will come for him and he is a player we quite like and Bournemouth certainly think he has got a lot of potential so we’re looking forward to working with him and getting him involved.

“He has been here two days already now, and feels a real part of it so that’s encouraging.”

Sherring is predominantly a centre-back, but can fill in at full-back or play as part of a back three.

With Conor Masterson returning to parent club QPR, and Greg Taylor and Lloyd Jones currently out injured, United were in desperate need to shore up their strength in depth in defence.

“Once Conor was going back, we knew we had to bring one in and maybe another one yet depending on how things go,” said Bonner.

“Greg is going well, Lloyd is going well but they are still a little bit of time away. That’s the unit of the team where we are lightest so we’ve certainly got to make sure we’re covered.

“Obviously, we haven’t got a huge amount of experience or cover at right-back. Liam (Bennett) is doing really well but to throw him in at the minute in League One games might be difficult for him.

“I could put him on the pitch without a doubt or a worry at the minute, but at the same time we probably need to make sure he is out playing a run of games rather than sitting on the bench waiting for a chance.

“We certainly need to add a little bit more than if we can.”

That is not to take away from United’s current defence.

Jubril Okedina and Jack Iredale formed a partnership out of necessity at centre-back, but have really impressed, and they have been aided and abetted on the flanks by Harrison Dunk and George Williams.

“It’s been a brilliant partnership and they have brought us a real calmness and quality with the ball which has really helped us develop our game,” added Bonner.

“Dunks is in a really good run of form at left-back as well. But we know that Jack, on his day, can be the best full-back in the league so we need to have that option as well.”

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