Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Cambridge United
Cardiff City play their third fixture of the 2023/24 pre-season campaign, facing Cambridge United on Friday, 7 July (3pm KO).
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Cambridge United’s manager is Mark Bonner, who first joined the club in June 2011, working in a number of positions in the club’s academy.
Bonner was appointed first team coach in January 2018, working under manager Shaun Derry and his assistant coach Joe Dunne.
Following Derry’s departure a month later, Dunne took over as interim head coach, with Bonner serving as assistant head coach.
Another spell as assistant head coach followed, this time under Colin Calderwood, but after he departed in January 2020, Bonner took temporary charge.
Following four wins in his first four matches in charge, Bonner was named permanent head coach of Cambridge United in March 2020.
Since then, Bonner has been named League Two Manager of the Month on two occasions, before leading his team to promotion to League One at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Having managed 174 matches, Bonner has won 70, drawn 35 and lost 69, with a win percentage of 40.23%.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | A LOOK AT LAST SEASON
Cambridge United finished 20th in League One last season, maintaining their status in the third-tier by a single point.
The U’s secured safety with a dramatic 2-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers on the final day of their campaign.
Their path to survival was quite remarkable, having been seven points from safety going into the final nine games of the season.
In the victory over Forest Green Rovers, left-back Harrison Dunk, who has 389 appearances for the club, got on the scoresheet, as well as top scorer Sam Smith, who finished the season with 14 goals.
As well as securing their place in League One, the U’s also claimed an impressive result in the EFL Cup, as they defeated Championship side Millwall, before bowing out of the competition at the hands of Southampton.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SUMMER BUSINESS
The U’s have seen a number of key players depart the club this summer, including strikers Joe Ironside and top scorer Smith, as well as centre-back Lloyd Jones.
In terms of arrivals, Bonner has added to his goalkeeping options with the signing of Jack Stevens from Oxford United, who spent last season on loan at Port Vale.
The club have also signed left-back Danny Andrew, formerly of Fleetwood Town, who boasts a wealth of EFL experience.
Attacker Gassan Ahadme has joined on a season-long loan from Ipswich Town, having previously gained match minutes on loan at Burton Albion last season.
CLUB CONNECTION | UCHE IKPEAZU
Striker Uche Ikpeazu has represented both the Bluebirds and the U’s, joining the latter in 2016 from Watford.
During two seasons at Cambridge United, Ikpeazu scored 19 goals in 69 appearances, with manager Shaun Derry describing him in September 2016 as a “cult figure” at the club.
After leaving the U’s in 2018, Ikpeazu had spells at Hearts and Wycombe Wanderers, prior to joining Middlesbrough in 2021.
In the January 2022 transfer window, the striker made the move to the Welsh capital on loan until the end of the campaign.
Ikpeazu scored three goals for the Bluebirds, coming in wins against Barnsley, Peterborough United and Derby County.