Stevenage progress is no surprise, says Cambridge United boss Shaun Derry
Boro are the form side in Sky Bet League Two
Shaun Derry is not surprised by the surge of Stevenage up the Sky Bet League Two table since the turn of the year.
Cambridge United produced a gritty performance on Boxing Day to win 2-1 at the Lamex Stadium, their first victory at the Hertfordshire club since 2007.
But Stevenage have stormed up the table in 2017, winning eight of their last 10 games to sit in fourth place, just four points off the third automatic promotion spot.
And their turnaround in fortunes has not surprised U’s boss Derry.
“In my chat with Darren (Sarll, the Stevenage manager) after the game, when we beat them on Boxing Day, he was disappointed that they didn’t have the dominant No 9 that he’s now got,” said Derry.
“So in terms of surprising, nothing surprises me in the league – it really doesn’t.
“Teams go on fantastic runs and some teams go on poor runs. If you look at Morecambe, they’ve lost five on the bounce and they were in fine form five games ago.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Stevenage have managed to force their way into the top seven.
“The reason it doesn’t surprise me is because I think they’ve made two changes over the last five or six games, so when you’ve got that consistency of your starting XI, that really helps managers and it helps football clubs.”
Derry is hoping that it will be a full house at the Cambs Glass Stadium on Saturday to help create a special atmosphere.
“It’s what the boys want to play in front of, large crowds, great atmospheres, a local derby which means a lot to both clubs,” said Derry.
“We’ve obviously beaten them earlier in the season and they will want to get one over us this weekend, but we’ve got our own agenda and that’s something we’ve worked on a lot this week.
“It’s a game where we’ll perhaps be the underdogs at home, and it’s against a team that’s been unbelievable – they really have.
“Darren has done such a good job over this last three or four months that he has got not just his team but himself into a profile which has been raised considerably.
“With it being a local derby, everything goes out of the window. It’s a one-off game that we’ve spoken about this week.
“Darren’s success this last three or four months has come from a really settled group, a settled team that he’s not made many changes to and we’ve obviously had our own agenda on the injury table.
“When it comes to this one-off game it’s a great opportunity for the boys. The lads are really looking forward to it, I am too.”
“I have mentioned the crowd and I want everybody to come and get right behind us to make sure we’re the dominant force in terms of fans who are leading their team, let’s make sure it’s us.
“It’s a game I can’t wait to take place.”