Cambridge United earned their first league win, at Newport
CAMBRIDGE UNITED manager Shaun Derry told his critics that they should never question the character of his side as they came back from a goal down at Newport County to claim a first win of the season.
The U’s remain bottom of League Two but they are now level on points with Newport after second-half strikes from substitute Uche Ikpeazu and Luke Berry sealed three points at Rodney Parade.
The Cambridge board held talks about Derry’s future last week but his side showed they still believe in him as they bounced back from Rhys Healey’s 10th-minute opener for the hosts.
“It’s a long season and now we’ve got this first win I want us to build on it – that’s got to be the goal,” said Derry.
“This is a tough league but I’m so pleased for my players. The desire and the intensity that they came out with in the second half was there for all to see.
“It’s a team that’s got character because the manager’s got character and the assistant manager has got character and the staff have got it in abundance. “Don’t ever question our character because our character has always been there.
“It’s been a tough start to the season but now we have to look forward.
“We have to enjoy this moment because this moment has not been felt at all this season. “We’ll enjoy it now, regroup and crack on again for Tuesday.”
But the pressure only mounts for Derry’s counterpart Warren Feeney who admitted that the home fans were right to boo him off at the end.
“There’s always pressure but I don't worry about it because I’ve been in football so long now,” said the Newport manager.
“There was 2,000 people here but I’ve played in front of 40,000 or 50,000 so I don’t worry about that.
“I put pressure on myself to succeed and the fans are right to have a pop at me, but I can’t affect that.”
Healey headed in after Cambridge had failed to deal with a Ben Tozer long throw and Feeney’s men looked set to claim a first home win since March.
But Ikpeazu stooped to head in a Medy Elito free-kick just after the hour, and seven minutes from time another Elito free-kick was not cleared and Berry hooked in to spark wild celebrations amongst the travelling fans and cries of ‘Feeney out’ from the home support.
Ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Grimsby Town, Feeney added: “I’m very frustrated but I believe in the boys. We aren’t too far away but we can’t keep doing what we’re doing.
“We shouldn’t have lost that game and that’s the hardest part, but we have to move on.
“We have to keep the players’ heads up. I take responsibility for everything and we have to get them going.”
COMEBACK: Cambridge United’s Luke Berry scores the winner. Inset: Uche Ikpeazu celebrates his equaliser for the visitors STAR MAN ADAM McGURK Utd Cambridge