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Club News

Bonner on Crewe

30 September 2021

U's boss Mark Bonner spoke to the media prior to his side's clash with Crewe Alexandra on Saturday...

On Tuesday’s defeat:

“We have got no divine right to beat anybody in this division. I learnt the same things that are pretty obvious in all football matches – if you do not take your chances when you are on top of the game, and you concede goals in periods of play or in moments that you think you can do better from you are going to get punished for that.

“Gillingham’s first goal comes off a period where we had fairly good control of the game, yeah, they had some possession, but were not really a threat. We know we can defend better for the first goal, and then the same for the second goal in the second half.

"We have got no divine right to beat anybody in this division." – Mark Bonner

“We had over 30 crosses into their box, 17 attempts at goal as well as more final third entries than a lot of games this season. We played with an intent to attack; we just did not find the quality needed at times in those moments.

“Gillingham were aggressive and defended their box brilliantly, it stopped us from taking those moments and had one of those fallen our way, the game could have gone a different way – that is obvious. There was plenty in that performance that, when you watch it back and you take away the emotion of the game, we had some good spells, of course we want to be better in certain moments.

“The overall quality of the game was a bit lower than some of the ones we have played in prior to Tuesday – but that will happen, and it is a frustration that we did not come out of the game with something because we were more than a match in the game really, and the key moments did not go our way.”

On fixture congestion:

“We quite enjoy the busy schedules; we have had game on game a few times this season and it has gone quite well for us. You obviously end up with a little bit fatigue in your team, but I think, overall, playing game on game is what we enjoy.

“It is a challenge because the turnaround from one game to the next is quick and you do not have so much time on the grass to work and prepare the team for the game, but certainly we are looking forward to the challenge ahead of the weekend, to go away to try and continue our good away form against a team who have had two very good results over the last fortnight.”

On Crewe Alexandra:

“Crewe are a team that have had a bit of flexibility in their shape recently, traditionally a 4-3-3 team however in the last two games have played a back three away from home. They have had two good draws in their last two that they will be really satisfied with.

“Crewe teams are always comfortable with the ball and are happy to be in possession. They are a good footballing side, and yes, they have not maybe had the results or the reward in the early part of the season that some of their football has deserved - but they are certainly a team that we will have to go well against in terms of our defensive side of the game, because they are very technical, they have multiple players with pace in wide areas.

“We want to win every game." – Mark Bonner

“They are a real threat in possession of the ball, and we will have to make sure that we are well organised and structured to defend against and we have to get our pressing game right.

“We want to win every game but so does everyone, the last three games have been against three tough teams, we got a point against Fleetwood, where we should have had a penalty in the 90th minute perhaps, they are unbeaten in six and have scored three at MK Dons, two against Sunderland, scored four against Rotherham.

“Tuesday did not go the way we wanted it to, but we've come up against to a strong, resolute and streetwise team that are very well established at this level, but we go into a different challenge this weekend. You want to come away with more points than we go with and obviously we want to try and be the winning team but as we found out, we need at the best of our game to compete with teams and make sure we have a chance to win games.”

On The U’s impressive record against Crewe Alexandra throughout history:

“Everyone loves those stats apart from me it seems! I do not know if our previous form will have anything to do with what will happen this weekend, if it looks like a good omen then let us hope it is, but I think it will come down to how we do on the day and whether we are competitive and defend the box well at one end and take chances and create moments at the other end.

“We have got to make sure we find the best level we can at the weekend and keep building on a fairly positive start to the season, we know that this is a game that takes us to the tenth game of the season – it is a nice marker to look at how that first ten games have gone and what we have learnt, as well as looking at what the next stage in for us, so let us see if we can go there and give a good account of ourselves, and try and bring some points home!”

Team News:

“No more update from when I spoke on Tuesday night, the players are in now and we are checking on a few from the other night, there is obviously a few tired legs following some playing in full 90-90 back-to-back over the last few days. We will need to pick a team accordingly, we will not do that tactical work today because we need a bit more of a recovery session for those who played.”

“Wes [Hoolahan] has obviously had a little issue with his injury in the last week or so but hopefully he will be back on the grass this week. In terms of managing his programme, it is not different this year to last year really.

"We are really pleased with Wes' [Hoolahan] committed attitude and work ethic, which is exactly what you want from your players.” – Mark Bonner

“He is not in all day everyday like some of the others, but there has been no slowing down off the back of last year, yes we manage his programme but I think when people see him play, they see he is still super fit, and he is super committed to the games and loves playing, but we are really pleased with his committed attitude and work ethic, which is exactly what you want from your players.”

Fans can watch the full press conference on our YouTube.

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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