Shaun Derry predicts rocking atmosphere when Cambridge United host Leeds United in the FA Cup
U's hoping to shine on BT Sport
Shaun Derry has told his Cambridge United players to do themselves justice against Leeds United in the FA Cup.
The third-round match at the Cambs Glass Stadium will be staged live on BT Sport, and will be a battle between two of the country’s in-form sides.
United have already produced one upset against a Championship side this season, knocking Sheffield Wednesday out of the League Cup at home before running Wolves close in the next round.
And United boss Derry believes that the pattern of the game could be similar against Garry Monk’s Leeds.
“We played Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup and we had to spend a lot of time off the ball, and we know that’s going to be the case with Leeds United on Monday because they look after it really well,” he said.
“We have to make sure that the gaps that are left we have to exploit them really well with quality. We have to get right on the front foot when we get them opportunities, and we know they’re not going to come around as often as a League Two fixture.
“We know that all the good things we’re good at, we have to be bang on on Monday night. The flip side is we have to be patient, we have to be resolute off the ball and understand who we are up against.
“I think everybody coming into the Cambs Glass will understand that anyway. You don’t come up against a Leeds United too often.
“They are a club that’s on the turn. For me, I feel that the club is turning and there are some fantastic times around the corner for them and I’m delighted about that being a previous player but we’ve got our own agenda, and our agenda has served us well over the last three months.”
With the eyes of the nation likely to be on the Cambs Glass Stadium, and hoping to see an upset, Derry has told his players to give a good account of themselves.
“You like to think as a manager the team represents the manager, of course,” he said. “So we will be very much organised, hard-working and full of discipline, but you like to think we’re a little bit understated as well.
“I’ve got a bunch of guys there who’ve got ability, there’s no doubt about it – they’ve got some real ability.
“And they’re proving their worth at this moment in time, so in terms of a message, I think the message is for us not for Leeds United.
“My message to my team ‘go out and do yourselves justice. Don’t enjoy the night, make sure you get something out of the night’.
“And that’s the task, to still be in that fourth round hat after the game.”
Derry is not underestimating the challenge posed by Leeds, who are fifth in the Championship, but the manager hopes that the atmosphere in the Cambs Glass Stadium can have an influential impact on the hosts.
“There’s an opportunity for us,” he said. “Yes, we are playing one of the biggest clubs in English football. Yes, we are welcoming a team that’s high on confidence.
“But on the flipside, Leeds are playing a team that’s high on confidence as well. I know we’re not one of the biggest clubs in English football, but when the Cambs Glass gets rocking, it’s a fantastic atmosphere to play in and it brings people’s levels higher.
“So that’s what we’re looking forward to on Monday night.”