Oxford United’s pre-season continued in impressive form with a 1-0 win over Championship side QPR at the weekend.
Matty Taylor’s goal was enough to give Karl Robinson’s side a confidence-boosting win and after the game he spoke to iFollow about the game and United’s progress in the warm up games so far.
"What really shocked us in the first ten minutes was the intensity of their press” he said. “We were kicking into a strong wind in the first half, that seems to be the way in every game at the moment, so it was hard to get out and they really camped us in but then I thought we had the best two chances of the first half and moved the ball really well as well as defending strongly.
“Their team is better than the one that they had here last year but I thought we moved the ball better in the second half. Matty Taylor had another chance and it wasn’t his day until he scored a clever goal. That’s one of the things we have spoken about a bit, scoring more goals from set pieces and already in pre-season we have done that, which is pleasing.
“Rob Atkinson is unbelievable in the air and that strengthens us in both boxes but there were some really good performances all round. I thought Marcus McGuane was a power house and he oozes power and pace and is a pleasure to watch. Cameron Brannagan did well, but they all did.
“They were two teams who were evenly matched in many ways and it was as close to a real game as you are going to get.”
With a week to go until United welcome AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup Karl is hoping for new faces to add to his options:
“I still know where we need to strengthen. By next Saturday I hope we have new faces. We need another striker and another winger. We can’t play Saturday, Tuesday all season relying on Matty to be fit all the time. He knows there will be a rotation element to it. Joel Cooper has done really well but it’s his first year in professional football and there is nobody else for that position, and he misses next weekend with Northern Ireland, so we need players in those positions but we know that.”
Captain Rob Dickie was a notable absence in defence and Karl told us:
“Rob was missing because the rumours have been rife, including rumours about our opponents today, so we just felt that his head might not be quite right and it wasn’t the right game for him. That’s not saying he has gone - he was here today watching. But we all know that he may move and I just needed to see what we already have in the building
“I think the world of all my players, but players and managers come and go. The one constant is the badge and that has to be at the front of my thinking all the time. There is interest and the fees we are getting to are aggressive and I think very good for a player with nine months left on his contract. People may think I’m being too honest but I can only tell it like it actually is and I have to make decisions for our club.”
See the full interview in the new look iFollow.
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