Head Coach Karl Robinson's programme notes for Portsmouth in the Leasing.com Trophy:
Good evening everyone and thanks for coming along to see us take on Portsmouth in the Leasing.com Trophy. We appreciate you coming out to watch the team on a cold October night and will do all we can to reward you with a positive performance, knowing that a good result will mean we make it through to the next round.
I think it’s a safe bet that there won’t be a full house like there was for our last midweek game here against West Ham. That in itself presents a different sort of challenge for the players, because we expect just as much intensity and commitment, whatever the competition. That’s why I was pleased with what I saw at Accrington on Saturday, where we were slightly off it and possibly not at our best, but we stuck at it and we came away with a point to keep our decent run going.
In an ideal world you would play on manicured pitches in front of a full house every week and have your full squad available. In reality, at this level you are going to face all manner of different challenges, whether that is frozen pitches, poor decisions, challenging conditions, or whatever. On Saturday we lost a player to a poor tackle in the first ten minutes and then Fordy goes on as a sub, slips, and also has to go off. Those are things you just have to deal with, and I was delighted with the way the lads adjusted and made sure we got at least one point.
Tonight, we will make a few changes - I am sure Kenny Jackett will do the same with his Portsmouth team - but we will do it for the right reasons. We want to take a look at some of the lads who maybe can’t break into the team right now because of the form the team is showing, and we may well have one or two younger lads involved, which in itself is exciting to see.
Whoever plays will need to play well against a good Portsmouth side that can also progress to the knock-out stages tonight. It should be a good game, so enjoy your evening, get behind us, and let’s all play a part in another positive night for Oxford United.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc.