Mark Bonner wants Cambridge United to attack Mansfield Town challenge in Sky Bet League Two
Cambridge United will be out to heap more misery on Mansfield Town’s difficult home form this season in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow (Saturday, February 20).
The Stags had been on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league prior to Wednesday night, but they threw away a two-goal lead at the One Call Stadium in the last 11 minutes to lose 3-2 to Bolton Wanderers.
It added to their woes on their own turf, which has yielded just two wins from 13 games.
But they have had six draws, and their overall form since Nigel Clough was appointed in November has been very good - including a 1-0 win over the U’s at the Abbey.
“Since he has gone in there, they have done very well, won a lot of games, scored a lot of goals and he has got them going,” said United head coach Mark Bonner.
“It’s no surprise because he is a manager that comes with a reputation and pedigree having managed higher and done a brilliant job with Burton Albion.
“When you look at the experience they’ve got in the team and the experience the manager brings them, it’s no surprise that he has had a really good, positive impression and that will create us a tough challenge.
“But we certainly don’t want to go there with any fear at all. We want to go there and be brave and take the game to them to see if we can get on top of it.”
United had been on their own seven-game unbeaten run through January, which came to an end against Salford City, and they responded with a 0-0 draw against Southend United last weekend.
But regardless of Mansfield’s home record, Bonner knows they will present a stern test.
“We’ve watched them live a few times; we’ve seen both their games this week,” he said.
“They have shrunk the squad a little bit, but the team is very strong and there has been a consistency to how they have played and they have got better as time has gone on.
“They’ve had some excellent results and had a good unbeaten run before Wednesday night.
“They will be frustrated with the way they lost the game, or certainly the timing with late goals, but I thought they played really well.
“They've got a good style of play. We know George Maris really well, and he is playing well for them at the moment.
“I think we will have a good test on our hands. In the main, we go in there playing an in-form team but we’re in-form ourselves so hopefully it will be a really good test and game.
“We need to give the best version of ourselves because any time you go to Mansfield you know you’ve got a really tough game on your hands physically because they are hard-running and aggressive.
“They’ve also got some good players that are going to cause you problems. We’ve got to make sure we contain that but cover as much ground as we can and create as many problems as we can.
“In this remaining period of the season, we want to attack as many games as we can and go and have a real go at teams.”