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Mark Bonner reflects on 2020 at Cambridge United

Mark Bonner has reflected on 2020 at Cambridge United. Picture: Simon Lankester
Mark Bonner has reflected on 2020 at Cambridge United. Picture: Simon Lankester

Mark Bonner has reflected on the progress made by Cambridge United across the community in what has been a difficult year for all.

There have definitely been highs on the pitch, as only the most optimistic U’s fans would have expected the start that they made to the Sky Bet League Two 2020/21 campaign.

It came after a difficult spell during 2019/20, which was ended prematurely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, when the country went into lockdown, another part of the club rose to the fore, with the Cambridge United Community Trust’s superb work being highlighted.

“I think for everybody it’s been a really tough year, and it’s hard to see the next little stage where the optimism comes from,” said United head coach Bonner.

“We have to stick together on that because life is tough for people.

“From a footballing perspective, I think progress is the word.

“If you look at our club now, you see the impact with having the community through the trust. You see the way in which the board and the club have communicated and directed the messages out to supporters.

“In a time when there has been so much physical distance between people, I don’t think the club has ever felt as connected and joined up as it has for a long, long time.

“That is real credit to everyone there.

“We are on message and we’re on plan to keep progressing on the pitch.

“It’s difficult to go from where we’ve been to the very top of the league in one jump, but we have made progress.

“In the early part, we started really well and we have to now try to maintain ourselves around that level and show we can make big progress from where we’ve been in the last couple of years.”

Bonner demonstrated the close-knit nature of the club himself, calling supporters to wish them a happy Christmas.

It adds to members of the first-team squad and staff doing food deliveries during the spring lockdown.

“If you’re a fan of Cambridge United right now, I think you can relate to the team, you can be proud of the work the club is doing and has done, and the relationship between people inside and outside the club is as strong as it’s been for a long time,” said Bonner.

“It gives us a chance of continuing the progress, where we get to with that I don’t know.

“Development, learning and progress takes years sometimes - nobody wants to hear that because everyone wants it to be really fast.

“If we can continue impacting the people that are in contact with the club, and keep developing the players and staff within the club, and keep developing our identity and find that consistency then we won’t go too far wrong.”

And he praised all those involved with the U’s, highlighting the club’s motto.

“I think in the main despite all the difficulties and problems of 2020, we’re in fairly good health and that is partly down to brilliant people, partly down to really good leadership from the top, partly down to a fantastic owner who is really supportive who has helped us through, and hugely down to the supporters who have been really loyal with their time, money and support to help us get through it as well,” said Bonner.

“It’s a cheesy one because the slogan is United in Endeavour, but that’s the only way this club has ever worked or any time we’ve prospered is because everyone has come together, and that’s what we need to continue doing.”

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