Oxford United travel to Fleetwood on Friday knowing they need to get back to winning ways quickly after three defeats in a row dented their play-off hopes.
Although hurt by last weekend’s defeat against Sunderland, Boss Karl Robinson believes his players are determined to give it their all at Highbury on Good Friday.
“Our record against Fleetwood isn’t great but that’s in the past and we are in the present where we have an opportunity to go there and put a positive performance in,” he told iFollow. “Everyone at Oxford United knows it is a difficult place to go but it’s what we do on Saturday that matters, not what has happened before.
“The players were hurt by the result against Sunderland and I think it was important to let them feel that pain. I am sure we got criticism, which also hurts, but all of the KPI and running data has been through the roof in the last three games and I have had Managers calling who have been watching those games for their own analysis and all they say to me is “How?”
“But the most important thing is the result, that’s all that ever matters in our game. Shots on target have to be going in and in some situations we needed better decision making, but we know that and those are things we need to iron out now for the last four games.
“It’s about playing for the badge, and if that badge doesn’t mean enough to you then tell me. It’s got to hurt. You have to go to the wall and the shirt has to mean more than the individual. Play well for this club and things will happen for you. Start worrying about yourself and the badge will suffer. I am employed to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“People pay money to follow us up and down the country and they follow their club all their lives. From being kids to being older fans, Oxford United has been their life, so while you are playing for them then you have to make it your life too.
“Fans will see through it otherwise, but I saw my players after the game on Saturday and every single one of them was on the floor, head in hands. The players cared and I saw that. Fans maybe don’t see them when the floodlights go out and they don’t see the raw emotion that I see.
“On Saturday I went and did the media, went and spoke to the Sunderland Manager then went back in the Dressing Room and the players were still sitting there on the floor in kit, 35 minutes after the game, and still hurting, angry and frustrated.
“They are tremendous people and came into training with a real determination this week. Over the next four games you have to give everything for this club, that is all the fans ever ask, and I know they will do that, starting on Friday at Fleetwood.”
See the full interview in iFollow now.