After the last day drama and retaining our League One status, Jordan Worland, Tom Walker and Matt Caspell dissect the Cambridge United released/retained list and look tentatively ahead to life with out half of our squad.
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Certainly going to be an interesting summer. I’m hoping they make use of the opportunity to rebuild and go for a combination of types of player – some experience perhaps, some in their mid twenties with potential to develop, some young players on loan from bigger clubs academies and maybe blending in some of our own under 18 squad from last season. I don’t think they had much of a recruitment strategy last season. They clearly felt it was loyalty to the players that were already here and minimal additions, none of which really impacted the squad. There’s no doubt in my mind that approach backfired and set the tone for a difficult season. I know they can’t afford to carry a big squad, but the squad was too small last season. I find the excuse of ‘we would have been fine but due injuries’ that I think they offered at an end of season forum baffling. You are always going to be impacted by injuries, every squad, every season, but the smaller the squad, the bigger the impact! Ideally, I think they perhaps need a squad of 26. I’m not sure they’ve learned their lesson about running too small a squad and hoping to not be impacted by injury, I hope they have, but fear they haven’t. They were forced into defensive recruitment in January and fair play, they got that right, but they were still scrabbling for attacking options. They probably won’t be able to recruit early, but Bonner’s argument about getting the best deals late in a window also backfired to an extent and by the time they got Thomas in, it felt like they were just desperate to get any attacking player in, almost to save face with the fans. Sufficient recruitment to allow us to try to kick on next season is going to be a massive challenge. They will need their best ever window. I hope they can do it, I hope there’s plenty of activity between now and the end of August and that a good window raises hopes for an improved season.