Reggie Lambe, the Cambridge United forward, believes there are plenty of positives to take away from his team’s penalty shoot-out defeat at home to Northampton Town in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.
Cambridge led 1-0 through an early goal from George Maris, with Lambe involved in the build-up, and appeared to have done enough to advance to the next round.
However, the visiting side levelled through Van Veen’s last-minute strike to send the game to extra time and ultimately penalties where they prevailed 4-2.
“It was unfortunate we couldn’t make it through, but we have taken a lot of positives tonight and we are all looking forward to the next game on Saturday,” Lambe told the club’s website.
“We needed to come out and show we are a good team. We have done that at stages for a lot of the season, but tonight we knew it was a one off game and we wanted to showcase ourselves to get to the next round.
“It was disappointing to concede so late on in the match, after we had done so well as a team for most of the game to defend our box.
“We obviously had the big goalmouth scramble before the goal that was then cleared, I’m pretty [sure)] with it being so late in the game, everybody would have felt confident that our luck had turned and we’d seen out the game. It was a bit disappointing that they [Northampton] came straight back and scored.”
United are back in action away to Tranmere Rovers in the Sky Bet League Two on Saturday.
“We have the chance to solely focus on our league position and can take encouragement from the way we played for most of the game [against Northampton],” Lambe added.
“In the dressing room, Mark Bonner [the caretaker head coach] was keeping everybody’s heads up and making sure none of our heads drop because it’s an important game at Tranmere and we have to look forward towards that now.”
United are 21st in the table just three points above the relegation zone.
The club are coming off a turbulent weekend which saw head coach Joe Dunne sacked after a poor run of results with his assistant Bonner taking charge on a temporary basis.
“Any person that comes in, will look to bring their own style and make their own changes to what they feel is right,” Lambe said.
“Mark has looked to do that in training since the weekend; I don’t think he’s overstepping on anything that Joe has left.
“He’s carried forward a few principles from Joe and then added a few principles of his own, and any manager or interim manager will look to bring in their own style. He’s very much respected and we want to do a job for him in the games under him.
“I think you saw that tonight, we had a bit more defensive structure from us for most of the game and we were more solid. You’ll see that again going into Saturday.”