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18 September 2022



18 September 2022

After the Reds' 3-0 win away at Cambridge United on Saturday, Michael Duff praised his side's ability to react to adversity at The Abbey.

Devante Cole opened the scoring for the Reds on 24 minutes before a chaotic second half ensued. Liam Kitching was dismissed on 68 minutes for a second bookable offence, with Brad Collins having to be substituted early in the second half after a nasty aerial clash with Sam Smith.

Despite the setbacks, the Reds went on to grab two more goals through Robbie Cundy and James Norwood in the second half, without reply. It was this ability to seize the initative that our Head Coach enjoyed: "We came out in the second-half really poor.

"I think it's probably a little bit of a winning habit we don't have, we're hoping to win games; Tuesday night was the same. We went one nil up and sort of hoped the referee blows the final whistle. 

"It's not going to happen. We have to get back on the front foot and do everything that got you the one nil lead. With Brad going off, and the red card, the players almost got around themselves and recognised that we need to step up. You need to take the ball, you need to pass the ball, you need to run forward.

"That was the most pleasing thing today. Almost a recognition of 'we ain't going to be able to hold on here' for 55-60 minutes with the added time. In the end, we took the game away from them. Hopefully, we can learn from that."

Cambridge came into this one having won all their league games at home, the Reds becoming the first team to leave The Abbey with anything in the league this campaign. 

However, Duff believes his side were sloppy in parts in Cambridgeshire and didn't execute the game plan as well as possible.

"It was an indifferent performance," he said.

"I don't think we were brilliant. I thought we were really good at the start of the game. We had so many opportunities to find a better final pass, really frustrating from our point of view.

"We got a lucky goal, I don't think the pass was intended to where it was but 'Coley' was clinical in the way he took his chance. We rode our luck a little bit. They had the chance that hit the post."

As well as the result, several players were able to return from injury or make their debuts for the Reds.

Another positive aspect of the result for the 44-year-old, and he praised these performances on their first competitive action in a while.

"We got minutes into people as well," Duff discussed. "Herbie's first 90 minutes, Cadds [Nicky Cadden] got more minutes. Josh Benson got more minutes. Tom Edwards, Nors [James Norwood] is starting to look a bit more like the player we think he can be.

"So, there's lots of positives from today."

In what was our first visit to Cambridge almost 30 years, 1,500 Reds fans travelled to back their team in the Autumn sunshine at Abbey Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Our Head Coach emphasised the benefit backing like that can give you, especially in more compact stadiums.

"The supporters today were brilliant," he praised.

"They made unbelieveable noise, it doesn't half make a difference in these smaller grounds. Again, referencing back to me, when I was at my last club and the big clubs would come and fill an end and just sing; it takes the home advantage away almost.

"We thank them for the travelling support, but we've got to try and get a few more points at home now, that's the next bit."

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