Oxford United need to use defeat against Crewe on Tuesday night as motivation when they travel to Wigan on Saturday in Sky Bet League 1.
“My opinion hasn’t really changed on the Crewe game” Karl Robinson told iFollow. “We had individual meetings on Wednesday and I have never seen a group of people hurt so much. Fans will say ‘well run around more and play better’, I get that, but the players care for each other, the staff and most of all for the club. That maybe wasn’t there in the performance on Tuesday but it bloody hurt us all.
“We know what the club means to people and to Oxford fans and we know it was difficult.
“Watching the game back our pressing was poor, our shots on goal were poor and we looked too defensive for a team playing at home; if we had done that with fans there they would have had their say! We would have loved to have had the fans there to lift us but the players have to understand that it’s not going to happen any time soon.
“Obviously we will look at what we did in the build up and the way we prepare but we underperformed, In some games earlier in the season we played well and got nothing for it; we have maybe played badly in three or four games this season and lost but but we are realistic and we need to use the pain and use it to move us forward. We have two big away games now and we have to be more competitive. Wigan will have had ten days off, Portsmouth will be hurting after the play-offs and then we have Swindon at home which is obviously a big game. It’s relentless but it’s only us that can do something about our situation.
“We have to accept that things haven’t been going right and use that. Whatever you do in life, if you get hurt you can use it as fuel for the future. Do the players believe in the staff? Yes. Do the staff believe in the players? Yes. Do we all love being associated with Oxford United? Yes. So that’s a base to work from. Nobody wants to go in a different direction, we know there is talent and we know we are under achieving. So we know where we have to put most of our efforts in to and that will be the next stage for us. I know I have good people around me and that’s a good place to be when you are going into battle.”
United will be without Sam Winnall on Saturday after the striker limped off late in the game:
“It’s not looking great” Karl confirmed. “It’s a hamstring and he is having a scan. It didn’t settle too well overnight. He looked good and made things happen when he came on but he has to stay fit now to be an asset to this football club.”
United will have more options on Saturday though after the league changed to allow five subs to be used…
“I needed it to be ten on Tuesday” Karl laughed.! “But if it means we have more options and it gives more people time on the pitch then we welcome it and I think it’s the right decision.”
See the full interview plus the thoughts of Matty Taylor and Josh Ruffels in iFollow right now where you can see the whole game Live. CLICK HERE to buy a match pass.