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Former Portsmouth, Crystal Palace and Leeds United defender challenges players to fight for their place at Woking

Cambridge United boss Shaun Derry wants players to show their worth against Cards tonight.

Former Portsmouth, Crystal Palace and Leeds United defender Shaun Derry has challenged his Cambridge United players to show their worth as they head to Woking tonight for a pre-season friendly.

Derry has been in charge at Cambridge United since November 2015 but in May this year his job title was changed from ‘manager’ to ‘head coach’.

And with Cambridge set to face Exeter City in the League Two season opener on August 5, the 39-year-old wants his players to fight for their place in the starting XI – by showing their worth at the Laithwaite Stadium tonight.

“We’re getting so close now to the season and I think this next passage of games this week is going to determine just what we see on that opening day,” Derry told the Cambridge News .

“We’ve got a squad now of 23, 24 players. Eleven are going to be delighted against Exeter, seven half-happy and the rest are going to hate me, but it’s in their court.

“This is their career and I have to maximise their career, but it’s theirs and they’ve got to get the best out of it and we’ve got a group of players now who are really pushing for each other.

“I want to see more of what we provided in the second half against Dartford. I want to see that intensity and within that intensity, there were a lot of good passages of play.

“We got it out wide and the full-backs really entered the play a lot as well, but minutes are vital at this stage of the season and we’ll be looking into the Southend game (on Saturday, July 29) when it will look more like a starting 11 for the new season.”

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