Oxford United Manager Karl Robinson wrote the following notes for the side's Checkatrade Trophy programme against Tottenham Hotspur U21s tonight:
First of all, I wanted to thank you all not just for coming out tonight but for the support you gave us on Saturday against Blackpool. I looked at the forecast because we take everything into consideration when planning for the game, but the one thing it didn’t show was just how biting that wind was going to be! For you all to keep singing through that and keep trying to help the team was an outstanding effort and I hope you thawed out quickly once you got home.
In terms of the game, I thought we played some really good stuff in the first half in particular. We had that strong wind behind us and needed to take advantage of it, and I thought we did that very well. With a two-goal lead at half time we knew we were going to have to defend well, which we did, but we always know we can hurt teams on the break and I felt it was a very good performance overall.
To go for 14 games and lose just once is a terrific effort and it has been a collective effort from all of the staff but also from the entire playing squad. The Checkatrade Trophy game tonight gives us a chance to look at one or two things and maybe make sure everyone gets game time, but we also want to win the match and get through. We have done really well in the competition in recent years and the further you go then the closer you get to a Wembley final.
Spurs will be a massive challenge for us; we are up against the best young players from one of the best teams in Europe. We have watched them and done our homework and we know we are going to have to work extremely hard if we want to get through to play at Cheltenham in the next round. But I hope you have seen the appetite we have for hard work and we go into the game in excellent form and with confidence high.
Away from the football, obviously it is the last home game before Christmas, so I would like to wish all our fans a very Merry Christmas and hope we see you all here on Boxing Day against Southend. Christmas is a time for family and friends, so may I just take the opportunity to extend those best wishes to all the staff at the Oxford Children’s Hospital in particular. We visited them last week and they remain a true inspiration to all of us. We might moan a bit about training on Christmas Eve or not being able to enjoy Christmas in quite the same way as most families, but that is nothing to the people who will be working at the hospital all through the festive period.
It’s a time for thinking of others, but also a time for us to keep our foot down in all competitions, and if we can start the Christmas games with a win tonight then that would be the perfect way to keep things moving in the right direction.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc