Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner says he expects Bolton Wanderers to present his side with a ‘big challenge’ in this weekend’s game.
The U’s welcome fellow newly promoted side Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon. Bolton have had a strong start to the season and are yet to be beaten in the league. As a result they sit 7th in the table, five places above Cambridge.
Cambridge haven’t had the worst start themselves as they have only lost one game so far this season. But this is sure to be a competitive game.
Analysing his teams opponents, Bonner told CambridgeshireLive: “January was a big window for them, they really strengthened the squad with a few excellent additions from higher levels. I think that made a big difference to the team and changed the mentality.
“As we know, winning breeds that confidence, and they’ve got massive momentum.”
He added: “They’re certainly a team that we know first hand, having played them last season and seen the progress that they’ve made, and they’re going to cause us a big challenge this weekend, and one we’re going to have to really get control of, and try and bring our best game to the table.
“We know what we’re going to come up against, and we have to try and stifle that and make sure we get them defending as much as we can also.”
After a season without fans last year, Bolton are expected to bring a large following to Cambridge this weekend and Bonner thinks this will help the side. He said: “They’ve got a good bounce about them, and they’re buoyed on now by a huge fan base that was obviously missing from them last year, with which comes huge motivation for them, but huge pressure also.
“There’s an expectation on them, and an ambition to get out of this league to the one above. They obviously have to carry that weight every single week with that fan base.
“We’ll see it no doubt this weekend, they’ll sell out the away end, or both parts of the away end, and have over 2000 in the ground, which will add to the atmosphere.”
Bonner is right to be cautious of Bolton who are a good side and come into this game off the back of two league wins. Carrying on from that, Bolton will be full of confidence and looking to build on their early progress.
As the Cambridge boss addressed, the opposition’s support will be strong and this will only add to Bolton’s desire to do the job on the pitch and get a result for the travelling fans.
However, this could be a more competitive game if Cambridge start right. They are a side who have conceded too many goals this season but if they set up well defensively, they could make it hard for Bolton to break them down.