12 August 2023

Mark Bonner hails ‘outstanding’ Gassan Ahadme after win over Fleetwood

12 August 2023

Cambridge manager Mark Bonner singled out the “outstanding” performance of Gassan Ahadme following their 2-0 victory over Fleetwood.

The U’s, who only avoided the drop on the final day last season, made it two wins from two with goals from new signing Ahadme and stalwart Paul Digby the difference.

“Gassan Ahadme has started brilliantly, two in two and his performances have been outstanding,” Bonner said.

“He’s showing people exactly why we wanted him here for a few years. Our test for him is to see how consistent he can be at that level.

“It will be a tough ask but he really does set the tempo for us.

“It was a brilliant performance from Paul Digby, he deserved the goal. He made really hard runs to catch up with attacks and to come back and defend.”

Despite the professional performance, The U’s boss is still not getting ahead of himself and continues to demand more from his players.

“We were a threat all afternoon, defended well when we had to and thought we might have actually done better in terms of our goal return.

“To go in ahead was great but we were probably a bit frustrated we didn’t go in further ahead.

“We defended well in the second half. We’ve been working on set plays a lot and they’re going to be big for us this year as long as we capitalise on them.

“We did and it put us in a good position with a half hour left to be in control of the game to some extent. So we put ourselves in a really strong position.”

On the other hand hosts Fleetwood rarely looked threatening, and manager Scott Brown admitted they needed to go back to what they do best in order to keep clean sheets.

Brown said: “Disappointed obviously with the result. I take full responsibility for that one, what we’ve worked on in pre-season didn’t come off so we need to get back to doing what we do best.

“It’s being that horrible team doing what we do best and keeping clean sheets, making us hard to play through.

“We were maybe a little bit open today and the game plan probably wasn’t followed through as well as we possibly could do.

“I think the first 13, 14 minutes we controlled the game well and then we started to mix and match.

“Listen as I say, I’ve got to take this one on the head. The lads have given us a lot in pre-season but now we need to bounce back and they’ll be a lot of changes that’s for sure.

“We need to make sure we win games, we win our battles, we win individual battles, we’re first to the ball and today we weren’t that.”

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