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Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner is open to the possibility of switching to a four-back player

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Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner has refused to rule out the possibility of a return to a four-man defense for the Sky Bet League One round.

Since signing experienced midfielders Ryan Bennett and Michael Morrison during the January transfer window, Bonner has tended to favor forming his squad in a 3-5-2 scheme.

However, after a forgotten first half during yesterday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Charlton Athletic, Bonner turned into a back four in the first half, resulting in a vastly improved second half performance.

Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner.  Photo: Simon Lancaster
Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner. Photo: Simon Lancaster

Not only did United stop Charlton’s run, as Jesurun Rac Saki was restrained most effectively, they also posed an attacking threat at the other end of the field.

And while Bonner won’t be making any quick decisions on the back of 45 minutes of football, returning to four defenders is still something he might consider as the U look to overturn a six-point gap to a safety with nine games remaining.

“Maybe, it depends. We’ll take a look at who we play against, what they play and how they play,” he said.

“It’s also a form and a system that we lost a lot of games in which we didn’t score. It’s easy to say ‘change’ but the reality of the season is we didn’t score many goals and we didn’t win a lot of games no matter how much we were playing.

“On our part it wouldn’t be all and end all (the performance). In the last six or seven games we’ve created 20 chances, some of them playing in the opposite direction. We haven’t conceded many chances or goals.

“We were actually better in possession and had more of the ball (3-5-2). There are some stats that have definitely been improved, but today we need to change because we couldn’t control and that helped.

“And in the other weeks, we know it’s something we can do and we have players who can do both.

“It’s a good question in terms of getting the options to do that and we’ll probably look at everything between now and the end of the season to try and find a formula.”

Read more

Lloyd-Jones bemoans his first-half performance

Bonner: Charlton was very good for Manchester United in the first half


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