The Oxford United Head Coach Karl Robinson wrote the following notes for the Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Hartlepool United:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming along to today’s FA Cup game against Hartlepool. We have worked hard to get to this stage with good wins away at Hayes & Yeading and Walsall, and we will have to work just as hard today because Hartlepool will be looking forward to the game just as much as we are and will fancy their chances of an upset. I love this competition and am only too aware of the drama it can produce, so let’s make sure that today’s big headlines are elsewhere.
We come into the game on the back of a very productive Christmas period, where we won three of our four games and moved ourselves into a very encouraging position in the league table. The first two games were at home in front of over 10,000 people and we rose to the occasion with excellent wins against the leaders of our division and then a strong Lincoln side who have had back-to-back wins since then.
We followed that with two tough away games, winning the first one at Wimbledon and then losing at Doncaster on Wednesday. The Wimbledon result was an important one and I thought we showed real determination in a very physical encounter but then strangely the Doncaster game was probably our best performance of the lot and we ended up losing!
Other than a ten-minute spell in the first half I thought we dominated the game. We hit the post, hit the bar, hit defenders on the line and each time it happened the ball stubbornly bounced the wrong way for us. Frustrating, but you get games like that and we just have to bounce back.
It’s an important time now and the transfer window is open. It’s no secret where we are looking to strengthen, and we are working around the clock to make things happen. Whether that comes before today’s game or not, the message remains the same. We are in a wonderful position and we are determined not to waste it. The Board share my view and together we will work to add to our squad and build on the position we find ourselves in.
If we can make it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup then that’s another massive positive; so let’s carry on where we left off, keep our home form going, and do all we can to make sure it’s Oxford United in the draw for the next round.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc