Shaun Derry urges Cambridge United squad to seize their moment
U's head coach tells players to take their chance
Jake Carroll seizing the initiative in Cambridge United’s last three matches should be used as an example to other members on the fringes of the first team.
That is the view of U’s head coach Shaun Derry, who has seen the left-back thrive since returning to the starting line-up in the 0-0 draw at Lincoln City.
And Derry believes that it will be a similar tale for other members of his squad as the season goes on, stressing the importance of the bigger group.
“I’m delighted for Jake,” said Derry. “He has taken his chance and he is hitting the levels we want him to play at. What that does for all the other players is give them that belief that it can happen to them as well.
“We’ve made a few changes in recent weeks, and when one door shuts, another opens for somebody else.
“We’ve seen the re-emergence of Jevani (Brown) over the last couple of weeks, and that’s been exciting to watch and see how that’s developed.
“But that’s what this squad is all about. I honestly don’t think it’s going to be a group of 11 to 13 players that religiously play for us between now and the end of the season.
“I do believe it’s going to be 16 to 17 that we’re fortunate to carry.
“For Jake, the levels are important and he needs to keep this level high, and understand there is direct competition in and around him.
“But I think that goes for every player and something we’ve all seen in the opening run of games, you just turn off for a minute and I will make my changes.
“I believe what I see on a Monday to Friday does determine a lot of what takes place on a Saturday.”
It has meant that Harrison Dunk has had to step aside, having been left-back for larger parts of the season, but Derry anticipates he will come back stronger.
“It poses a difficultly for Harrison because he will be looking to get back into the group, but he has experienced that at numerous times in his career at Cambridge,” said Derry.
“It doesn’t shock him or surprise him, it’s just something that is part of what the last five or six years have been like for H. And I have no worries that he will find his way back into the group at the right time.”