Resilience of Cambridge United impresses boss Shaun Derry
U's qualities start to shine through
Shaun Derry has been impressed by the different character traits exhibited so far by Cambridge United this season.
The U's have been earning a reputation for the style of their football, but they are not afraid to mix it up in order to get results.
And they have not shown any signs of panic when being pegged back in games, or when things have not quite been working for them.
"We also know that when things go against you, as they always will in a game, you've got to be resilient, and you've got to dig in and make sure you respond,said United boss Derry.
"And we've shown we've been able to do that as well over the past few games.
"Of course, everyone has their ideal scenario on how you play a game. Very rarely does that come to the fore.
"It's something that you have to take certain moments in the game, and at this moment in time, we're handling them certain moments really well.
"We're not getting too down and despondent when we're on the backfoot. There were certain moments in the game on Boxing Day when you've got to dig in and you've got to make sure you're resilient.
"This is a really important period for us. It's an important period because it's the turnover of the first part of the season and it gives you an indication of where you are.
"And where we are at this moment in time is slugging it out with the very best teams in League Two, and with all the backing that the very best teams have got, we're punching at this moment in time and it's great to be in the ring with them."
There was a huge amount of resilience and maturity on show from United in their Boxing Day win at Stevenage, when Piero Mingoia and Leon Legge were both on target.
And Derry felt that they learnt lessons from their previous visit to Broadhall Way.
"We spoke about the last time we played at Stevenage away and the disappointment we had was that we weren't able to match them physically,he said.
"So from my outlook on Monday, it was our physicality and resilience that got us over the line, and that was a different way of playing to what has perhaps has been watched over the last two to three months.
"It's been that type of performance that I was delighted to see, and there are going to be many more of them occasions that we're going to have play that type of way between now and the end of the season.
"Looking forward, we want to be where we are and have worked extremely hard to put ourselves in the top seven.
"But there are probably 10 teams below us who have all got the same outlook and want to be in the top seven as well, that's why we're not taking things for granted."
However, the different qualities that are being exhibited by the U's are not surprising Derry.
"The facts of the matter are the way that we've been training, we've been able to reproduce that training level on a matchday,he said.
"I've been sat here now nearly 14 months, and I keep saying you can't turn the tap on and just expect to put in a performance on a Saturday afternoon.
"It's drip fed throughout the week, and that's me and Joe (Dunne, the assistant manager) and the way that we manage the group.
"We set our standards throughout the week because when you do that, you've got more of a chance of producing a performance at the weekend."