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Promoted from League Two last season, Cambridge United made a good start to life back in League One.
Indeed, they lost just once in their first five League outings, before Lincoln came to the Abbey Stadium and thrashed Mark Bonner’s side 1-5.
However, it didn’t deter the U’s who bounced back with victory at Portsmouth, as well as holding the likes of Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday to score draws.
Cambridge beat both Northampton and Exeter in the first two rounds of the FA Cup, before causing an almighty upset at Newcastle, where they beat the Premier League team 0-1 at St James’ Park, Joe Ironside netting the winner.
The U’s were beaten in round four by Luton Town but were winning enough League One games here and there to keep themselves above the relegation zone, including a fine 2-0 win over play-off chasing Plymouth.
Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner joined the U’s in June 2011, working in a number of positions in the club’s academy.
He’s had various spells as caretaker boss, before being handed the keys to the door as first-team manager in March 2020. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
After a Covid-hit 2019/20 season, Bonner secured promotion for Cambridge last season, as well as scooping manager-of-the-month awards.
But he is under no illusions of the task his side face today.
“Ipswich have kept an incredible number of clean sheets, as well as picking up an impressive number of wins since Kieran McKenna came in,” he said this week.
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“Let’s be honest, they should be getting promoted automatically with their team, so there’s no surprise that they are fighting for the play-offs, the only surprise really was that they were so far off the play-offs at one point.
“We know how tough the task is, as the pattern of the entire season has gone, we know we have to be at our very best if we are going to get anything from the game on Saturday.
“It’s a league of two league’s really, we know that, and we’re almost going up against a team in the league above us on Saturday.”