Oxford United’s second half display left Head Coach Karl Robinson a very happy man on Saturday as his side beat Scunthorpe 2-1 to move out of the relegation places. The U’s had to adapt after a frustrating first 45 minutes but Karl was full of praise for the way his team went about their business:
“We’d watched them play many times and never seen them play the system they played in the first half” he told iFollow. “We planned for three different systems, worked on three different systems and they came up with a fourth that completely threw us! All of our distances were wrong and Jerome Sinclair was three v one up front and having to drop deeper and that moved us in to different zones.
“We took longer than normal at half time, maybe ten minutes, to watch the clips and adjust things. We thought if we disconnected one of our wingers and got higher and more aggressive against one of their centre backs it would stop a few things from them and also give us an extra man in the attacking third.
“The players took it all on board and stepped things up. It was really hard to pick a man of the match because I thought Sam Long was brilliant, but Sykesy was different class as well and I think some of the steel that we showed away from home last week came through again. But having that without flair and a bit of flamboyance at home won’t work; we needed to find a way of making all those things work after the break.”
Jerome Sinclair was the star with his first two goals for the club, but United are still far from out of danger despite a win which just emphasised how close the League 1 table is right now.
“I am over the moon for Jerome and the fans have taken to him” Karl said. “It’s not coincidental that he runs around and works so hard for the team. That has to be a given. It was a difficult first half for the fans, I appreciate that, but we stayed solid and the second half was a more rounded performance.
“The league is till so tight. We are two points off 13th now and when you think about the away game at Scunthorpe where we were 3-0 up and drew- we would have been 13th right now! It’s unreal, but one more win in our mad season and we would be that much higher in the league.”
See the full interview then choose between goal highlights, extended highlights or watching the whole game again, only in iFollow.
Picture: Jack Brown