Mark Bonner is looking for Cambridge United to build consistency as they prepare for trip to Scunthorpe United in Sky Bet League Two
Mark Bonner is not reading too much into Scunthorpe United’s early season form as Cambridge United prepare for the trip to the Sands Venue Stadium in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday (October 17).
The Iron have won just one of their five league games so far this season, with one draw and three defeats leaving them in 20th position in the fledgling table.
In contrast, the U’s are up in second place with three wins, one draw and one defeat and a healthy goal difference.
But the form of Saturday’s hosts means little to U’s head coach Bonner.
“It’s probably a little bit difficult to judge anyone at the moment,” he said.
“I do think five games is a really early point to make snap judgements of where the league might finish after 46.
“Forty-one games is a lot of games to play particularly in such a short period of time, and as we’ve already said it could be quite unpredictable this year.
“We don’t need to make too many snap judgements on them.
“We’ve got an idea how we think they might play, we know they’re quite a young squad but they’ve got lots of energy and they are playing in a fairly nice way in terms of the way they’re building possession.
“I think they carry some good threats in the game. But, ultimately, what we’ve got to try to make sure is we can maximise our level and we start to have winning habits, winning mentality, winning work ethic and what it takes to compete in games and get on top of them.
“If we’re going to be a team that consistently wins then we have to show up every single week, and we’ve got to make sure we’re at that level this weekend.”
As United were beating previous table-toppers Newport County 2-1 last weekend, Scunthorpe were suffering a 4-1 home defeat to Forest Green Rovers.
Similar to Bonner, it is a new challenge for former Middlesbrough and Watford defender Neil Cox, who took over as Scunthorpe manager in August.
He had previously been assistant to Neal Ardley at both AFC Wimbledon and Notts County, but this is his first role as the No 1.
“He had an excellent career as a player and an excellent career as a coach and assistant manager, and I’m sure going back to a club that he is very fond of that he is relishing the chance and opportunity to lead the team, as I am here,” said Bonner.
“He’s an experienced guy at this level and he is early on in building a team and that cycle of development, as we are here.
“He will know the things that he wants to improve in his team as we do here, and I’m sure he won’t be looking too deeply into the start they’ve made, as we won’t.
“We can be confident from the start we’ve made, but it doesn’t give us any divine right to get points and doesn’t give us any real insight into where we will end up.
“But when we get to 30 days’ time, when we’ve played 12 league games, I think we will have a better idea.
“We want to come out of that in really good shape and hopefully in a good shape to actively encourage us for the rest of the season.”
With the exception of Liam O'Neil, United have a clean bill of health.