There was a surprise visit from a goalscoring legend today at Oxford United when Arsenal hero Ian Wright popped in to see old friend Karl Robinson
The former England front man watched training and then had lunch and a chat with the players, with Karl explaining in iFollow:
“We speak most days on the phone and on Sunday we were talking and we said maybe to try something outside the box and for him to come in and just give us a different thought process - nobody has all the answers so it’s good to get a different view on things.
“So he came in and I know he spoke to a few players, went through a few clips and I know he spoke with the strikers about their role in the team. He was here all day and the staff were enthused by what he had to say- he is just a top man and for him to give up his time and come and see us speaks volumes. It won’t be a regular thing but he reminded the strikers of the selfish nature you have to have in games sometimes, or the burden of expectation when you don’t score, against the plaudits when you do get a goal; that’s what that shirt is paid to do and I certainly think the players and the staff got something out of him being here.”
Wright’s visit came as United prepare for a big game against Luton Town tomorrow where they need to turn the good football of recent games into a winning formula.
“We will try to do that” Karl said. “We have been dominating possession and getting in to great positions without taking them on. Three of the last five managers we have played against now have been full of praise for the way we have played and that’s probably as frustrating for us as much as the fans. But I have tried to be honest, work hard with the staff and try and find ways to get us going on Tuesday night. This has been one of the biggest challenges I have ever accepted and this football club deserves better results.
“I want to win so much and we are paid to win games. We were on the phone to the Chairman for an hour and a half this morning talking openly about what we need to do. The one clear thing is that we all care so deeply about this club now. It is our club and we want everyone to be proud of what we achieve. But we have a young squad having to learn in a pressure situation and with the injuries you can see where our unpredictability has come from. We do believe it will improve and we know there is criticism out there but we believe in what we are building here.”
“ We are up against a good Luton side. It’s the first time I’ve managed against them and they are a good team who Nathan has built over a few years now, while we have only had one transfer window. But we are starting to get a few injured players back.Samir Carruthers has 20 minutes in him, Jamie Mackie the same, Simon Eastwood will train on Thursday, Marcus Browne on Friday hopefully so we are getting there in terms of injuries and hopefully we go out there on Tuesday and win the game and get us moving forward again.”
See the whole, much longer, interview in iFollow right now.