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REACTION: Rob Atkinson on Northampton

"We won't lose confidence' says U's defender

24 March 2021

Oxford United have to move on quickly from last night’s defeat at Northampton and concentrate straight away on the next game - Friday night’s home game against Lincoln City at the Kassam Stadium in front of the SKY cameras.

“We will be back in at 9 o’clock on Wednesday and the hard work will continue. We have to forget about tonight, learn what we can from it, and move forward quickly to concentrate on Lincoln on Friday” defender Rob Atkinson told iFollow after the U’s were beaten 1-0.

The defender was central to much of the action, putting in an outstanding performance at centre-half but also going as close as anyone to scoring for the U’s, particularly with an early opportunity which seemed to cross the line and would have given the U’s an early lead.

“I believe it was a goal” he said. ”I thought I saw it clearly over the line and Joe Grayson who took the corner was in a great position over where the linesman was standing so it was a surprise that the linesman didn’t see it. I watched it back and it was deliberate handball on the line as well! So that’s handball, a straight red and a penalty and the game becomes a lot easier if those decisions go our way.

“In defence of the referee I didn’t see the handball either and nobody seemed to complain about it so that’s just football. We’re not fortunate enough to have VAR at our level either, are we?

“We then had 85 minutes to do something about it and put it right after that as well. But we aren’t creating as many chances as we want to at the moment. Having said that I actually had loads of chances in the first half and on another day might have scored a hat trick before half time! But that’s football. They blocked a couple and defended well. Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Defeat hurt the U’s but Rob believes there is still time to put things right as the season boils to its conclusion.

“Ten games into the season if you’d offered me being three points off the play-offs with ten games to go we’d have taken that” he reflected.

“Ten games to go now and there are still plenty of points to play for. We are obviously very disappointed by tonight’s result but we can’t afford to let our heads drop after one game. We won’t lose confidence because of one result. We have Lincoln at home on Friday and now we have to go and try to put points on the board in that one.”

See the full interview and extended highlights in iFollow

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