Oxford United Head Coach Karl Robinson pens his first notes of the season in the Fleetwood Town programme. Read them below:
Good afternoon everyone and welcome back for our first home game of the season. I’d like to welcome Joey Barton and everyone associated with Fleetwood; he is a very exciting appointment and I am sure will do a really good job up there.
I think there are so many positives to report here at Oxford this summer, but you know what I am like by now and that defeat at Barnsley is still in my head even as I try and put these notes together. I think it was made worse because we simply didn’t see it coming. We had been really good all pre-season, had trained well and then for whatever reason we simply didn’t turn up at all. Other than Simon Eastwood, who made some good saves, and Rob Hall who did well when he came on, I don’t think any of the players can say they were happy with their performance.
When you are playing a side that is basically a Championship side then you need to be at your best. We would love to be able to compete to bring the likes of Moore and Bradshaw here, but the reality is that the clubs dropping down have a huge advantage financially and we are going to have to seriously raise our game if we want to compete with them every week.
I guess the one good thing to come out of the game was that it gave us a good dose of realism. We have brought some very good players into this club and I think we are light years ahead of where the squad was 12 months ago. But you cannot afford to just go out there and wait for things to happen. You have to be on the front foot and put what we have worked hard towards all week into action in the matches.
We will have to do it without Samir Carruthers today, who will be out for three months or so, but there are players here who should see that as a chance to claim that place and make it their own, and as we went to print we were still working on strengthening the squad further.
Whoever plays, they know what is expected and they will do everything in their power to make up for last week’s performance. I thought the fans were amazing once again and a credit to the club. I said last week that we have a togetherness among the staff, the players and the people behind the scenes here, so the one thing we need to build and develop is that very special connection between this current set of players and you in the stands. That starts today. We have a very hard-working and hungry squad, all desperate to be successful here. Let’s start as we mean to go on and show what this club is really about.
Get behind us,
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc