‘No question’ - Cambridge United boss offers Bristol Rovers promotion prediction

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Bristol Rovers are being tipped to be involved in the end-of-season play-offs by Saturday's opposition manager.

Cambridge United manager Mark Bonner believes there is no question' that Bristol Rovers will be play-off contenders this season.

The Gas travel to Cambridgeshire to face the U's, who narrowly avoided relegation last year, surviving on the final day of the 2022/23 season. Rovers recorded seven more points than them last year, placing them three places higher.

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Both sides this season have loftier ambitions, and do not want to be near a relegation battle, and now the opposition boss believes that Rovers will be at the right end of the table this season.

Rovers have signed eight players this summer, including James Wilson from last season's league winners Plymouth Argyle, whilst Jevani Brown and Luke Thomas both have quality at this level.

Matt Cox and Tristan Crama meanwhile have settled in well from their season-long loan moves from Brighton, and it is early days for England Under-20 captain Harvey Vale who joined from Chelsea this week.

Connor Taylor's permanent return after leaving Stoke City has been a welcome one whilst there are talks about Jack Hunt joining after getting promoted with Sheffield Wednesday in May.

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"There's no question they'll be fighting for play-off positions this year," Bonner said to CambridgeshireLive's print sport reporter Stephen Page.

"I think they've built a good side, coached very well, they've got a very good way with the ball, very difficult to break down and counter-attack very well.

"I think they've got loads going for them. I thought they were a strong side last year that we found it difficult against, and they've got stronger in the summer no question. We know it'll be a tough game.”

As for Cambridge's squad health, they are set to be without jordan Cousins who will be out for four to six weeks. He's training and had some injections, but has a quad injury that rule him out for the next month and a bit. Former Bristol City man Saikou Janneh is having a scan for a hamstring injury. Elias Kachunga will be checked, meanwhile Sully Kaikai is training today and tomorrow before being assessed for Saturday’s game.

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Asked if he’ll make changes to freshen up the team, he said: “The ability to make lots of chances isn’t there for us, so we’ll just need to try and freshen the players up over the next couple of days, and hit a really good level.”

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