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INTERVIEW: We've shown we can dig in and play ugly

Keeper Jack Bonham ahead of today's game against Cambridge Un

24 March 2018

A regular between the sticks this season, Jack Bonham has certainly caught the eye with some impressive performances.

But after the 2-2 draw with Crawley last weekend, the loanee was quick to hold his hands up and admit that it wasn’t his favourite moment of the season so far. 

University of Sunderland journalism student Mark Donnelly spoke to him about the game, and about bouncing back, ahead of the Friday afternoon training session. 

“It’s always disappointing when you're leading a game, especially by two goals,” he admitted. 

“You’re always looking for the third to kill the game off and we didn’t get that. 

“We conceded two sloppy goals defensively. For the first we had chances to clear it and, from my point of view, it’s got a little deflection off Tom Parkes and it’s taken out of my reach. 

“Then obviously the second one is part of goalkeeping. I hold my hands up, it was my mistake. 

“It’s always disappointing to concede a goal and for it to be your fault, and when you’re winning the game at the time it’s even worse. It’s a matter of how I react now and how I bounce back on Saturday.” 

While the result against the Red Devils was a disappointing one, the Blues were able to take a positive as the unbeaten run stretched to six games. 

And for Bonham, that can be the catalyst for a push towards the top seven. 

“That will feel like a loss because we were leading the game,” he said, “But when you look back at it it’s six games unbeaten now and we’re on a good little run. 

“We have to keep the momentum on our side and push to the play-offs.” 

The next challenge for United as they look to mount an assault on the play-offs is a visit from Cambridge United. 

While Bonham believes the U’s will offer a different test to that posed by Crawley, he feels the Cumbrians are well-equipped to deal with it. 

“They’re a physical team and have two big lads up front including Jabo who used to be here,” the stopper said. 

“It will be difficult and probably a scrappier game than last Saturday, but we’ve shown we can dig in and play ugly. 

“It’s nothing that we haven’t come across already.” 

The U’s visit Brunton Park with Carlisle yet to lose on home soil since December, and Bonham is calling on more supporters to come down and help cheer the Blues on the victory. 

“We didn’t start off the season well at home,” he confessed, “but since the turn of the year we’ve had some good results and performances. 

“If we can keep an unbeaten run at home then there’s no reason why that can’t help us get into the play-offs. 

“I don’t think some fans realise how much of a difference it does make when everyone’s singing and everyone’s behind us. 

“Especially in the last ten or fifteen minutes, it really picks you up and if you’re drawing or winning it makes you dig in. 

“We always appreciate any fan that comes down, but the more the better.” 

And with the news that the Brentford loanee has passed the 40 appearance mark this season, the keeper admitted he was delighted at how his time at Brunton Park was progressing. 

“I’d only made eight before I came here so it’s a considerable amount more,” he added.

“It’s been a massive learning curve in the mindset and particularly in your body in terms of playing week in, week out. 

“I’m delighted to have reached that many games in one season and hopefully I’ll be able to play in the rest and reach a good number of games this season.” 

Recent weeks have seen Bonham train alongside fellow loan keeper Louis Gray, with the stopper praising his Everton counterpart. 

“He’s certainly pushed me,” Bonham admitted. “He’s been training unbelievably well, and he applies himself every day even though he hasn’t played a game yet. He’s keeping me on my toes.” 

And with just eight games of the season remaining and the play-off dream still very much alive, Bonham is backing his teammates to make a late surge into the top seven. 

“All along it’s been that if we didn’t reach the play-offs it would be a disappointing season. 

“We’ve given ourselves a chance late on to keep pushing and steal a spot in the play-offs. It’s definitely reachable and we’ve just got to keep the momentum and keep that unbeaten run going.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Jack Bonham on iFollow United now.    

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