INTERVIEW: SHAUN DERRY
Manager Shaun Derry feels the U’s have reacted positively in training this week, as United look to bounce back to winning ways against Crawley Town this Saturday.
Having requested a response from his players following a disappointing defeat to AFC Wimbledon, Derry is pleased with the positive outlook from the U’s on the training ground.
He said: “I’ve seen a reaction and a hurt from the result last weekend against AFC Wimbledon. When you are winning games everybody is buoyant and lively in training, whereas shoulders were slightly dropped at the start of the week.
“But the group has quickly got themselves looking forward again and being optimistic, because that is what we all are going into the second half of the season.
“We are still on the back of good form going into this weekend’s game with Crawley, and I want everybody to be in the mind frame that they can enjoy playing football during the next four months of football.”
Meanwhile, when asked about the club’s recent dealings in the January transfer window, Derry added he was delighted to have acquired the services of two exciting young full backs in Lewis Page and Darnell Furlong, as well as being equally pleased at the return of striker Rory Gaffney.
“I want our group to be attack-minded, put opponents on the back foot and be brave, Lewis Page falls into that category. I’m certain he’ll produce better than what we saw from him on Saturday, as he is a good player and going forward is his strength.
“Darnell is in a similar position. He has joined from another good club and been on loan at a League Two club before having spent 11 games at Northampton and produced a level of performance which has caught the eye.
“He is another acquisition that I felt we needed with Greg Taylor unfortunately being ruled out for the remainder of the season with his ankle injury.”
He continued: “I’m also pleased Rory is back with us and he has returned in a richer vein of form to where he left us six or seven weeks ago. It’s been a really good loan for him and I’m pleased that he has been able to get his goals, which will breathe confidence into him.
“He returns into a different environment and hopefully he’ll show the form for us that he shown for Bristol Rovers.”
Derry admits feeling a great deal of sympathy for Taylor’s situation which has transpired to be worse than first feared, since being stretchered from the field of play during the U’s clash with Dagenham & Redbridge last month.
“The news is a big kick for Greg, and I’m absolutely gutted for him. He has shown a real resolve since I came through the door and found himself back in the first team, producing good performances and playing really well.
“He was right at the heart of an improving defence. The Boxing Day injury to his ankle is worse than we all thought, and he will be operated on this Friday. We therefore won’t see Greg until pre-season but we’ll act as a support mechanism for him and he’ll come back better and stronger.”
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