Reaction as United lose the JPT finalOxford United may have lost but they walked away from Wembley with their heads held high after defeat in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final. The U’s were beaten 3-2 by League One side Barnsley and although Head Coach Michael Appleton was hurting he was still very proud of what the U’s had done.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for the football club to reach a showcase final” he told Yellow Player HD “but it is not a nice feeling. There has to be a loser but you go into the game not thinking it is going to be you. You think positively and we went into the game in good spirits and a good frame of mind. We got our noses in front, which was important; it was just that the second goal eluded us really.”
Having been 1-0 up at the break through a Callum O’Dowda header United were stung by a second half revival from their opponents.
“Barnsley stepped it up after the break” Michael said. “The first goal was disappointing as was the third from our point of view because it was a lot of the stuff we had spoken about. They had a 20 minute spell which has meant they went on to win the game. We came back quite strong, got a goal back but I think the defining moment was the save their keeper made from Liam Sercombe. If that had gone in I think we might well have gone on and got a fourth.”
The Yellows were given a rousing ovation from their travelling army of over 33,000 fans, and Michael was quick to praise the fans who turned Wembley into a sea of yellow.
“I wouldn’t have expected anything different because all season they have been great. Our away support has been fantastic. Obviously there were a lot more here today but wherever we have gone they have turned up in their thousands and been great.”
The U’s now head for Crawley on Saturday and with just six league games left Appleton’s second placed side will do all they can to finish the season in style with promotion.
“Absolutely. We have to try and use this as motivation now for the last six games of the season.”
See the full interview plus an exclusive with skipper Johnny Mullins in Yellow Player HD right now.
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