Plenty to play for as United prepare for Portsmouth
Michael Appleton’s Oxford United side were beaten at home for just the second time this season as Bristol Rovers came from behind to win 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium yesterday. Leading through Kemar Roofe’s 18th of the season, United were ultimately undone by a late penalty, leaving Appleton in a reflective mood when he spoke to Yellow Player HD.
“I think we were slightly hard done by” he said “We played very well in the second half especially and I think for the majority of the game we looked like the ones who were going to win it. But we got hit by a couple of sucker punches, which can happen against a decent side. But you have to take it on the chin and move on quickly. “
Michael refused to blame tired legs for the defeat after United’s cup exploits against Swansea and Millwall.
“I think the week did take it out of us, but that’s the easy way out” he said. “The reality is that Bristol Rovers hadn’t played since the Saturday and we have had two games since then. We shuffled the pack a little bit. But I thought the fitness levels and the energy of the players was fantastic. We certainly didn’t lack in that area. I thought we got into great positions but just lacked that killer touch or killer pass. We had the opportunity to square the ball a couple of times from tight angles but chose to shoot, so our decision making in the end probably cost us the game. “
There are now 20 games left in the season and Michael expects plenty more twists and turns as things build over the coming months.
“There are 60 points to play for, more for some teams, and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs. There will be three or four games where it swings a little bit on your favour or against you. We have to just focus on ourselves and not worry about anyone else. We’ve been good at that this year. The way we go about our business and our preparation for games is about us and nobody else and we will continue to do that.
“We get a breather now and then we go again at Portsmouth next Saturday.”
See the FULL interview plus the thoughts of Joe Skarz and extended highlights in Yellow Player HD now.