Discipline Under Pressure by Nigel Pearce
There are many things to be concerned about at the Abbey Stadium right now, and I’d like to highlight another – the club’s awful disciplinary record. Three players (Deegan, Carroll and Halliday) have already served suspensions, even before the clocks went back! Greg Taylor picked up another yellow card against Macclesfield, so he can’t be far away from a ban too. Any side can do without losing first team regulars for no good reason, but when you are struggling near the bottom of the table, and have a thin and injury prone squad into the bargain, that can be a real problem.
The early suspensions this season actually serve to highlight how good our disciplinary record has been at Cambridge United in recent seasons. I’m sure I remember Richard Money making the point that he would never tolerate indiscipline in his teams, and I think the facts will show that he followed through on this promise. During his time at the Abbey I can only remember a single red card – Ryan Donaldson picking up two yellows at Lincoln near the end of our promotion season. Shaun Derry continued the theme of good behaviour – again, I can only remember Harrison Dunk being on the end of two very harsh yellows at home to Luton and Uche walking very late on at Port Vale. I’m sure there were others, but you get my point. Accumulated card suspensions were also very thin on the ground under Money and Derry. Uche exceeded five yellows a couple of times, I think, but his bookings were usually very harsh - referees often seem to take against big, bulky (dare I say, black) centre forwards for no obvious reason.
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