Oxford United will be asked to play with belief and conviction on Saturday as they look to add a win to their four game unbeaten run since Liam Manning took over.
Four draws - 0-0, 1-1,1-1, 0-0 - have seen the U’s tighten up at the back and edge towards safety but as Liam told iFollow today, with six games left it is now about staying united to pull away from danger, starting against Bolton at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday
“We are unbeaten in four now which is a real positive” he said “and if you look at the number of goals we have conceded then we have improved in that. Now we want to add the next bit, which is scoring goals. The platform for that to happen has to be that we are compact and hard to beat and we have done a good job of that so far. So let’s keep that and then try to add a bit more quality at the other end of the pitch.
“Some of that improvement in defence is about behaviour; people wanting to work with intensity and bravery to defend our goal. We have been terrific in that recently. We can work on shape and tactics but that has to be underpinned by people wanting to defend and work hard for each other.
“We have seen progress every game. Stephan Negru won’t play, that was a nasty injury he got on a very promising debut, and we will follow all the protocols that apply to Elliott Moore after his head injury. But we have some very talented players going forward and the structure we have worked on puts them into really good attacking positions, into places where they can turn and get at the opposition.
“If you look at chances we have created in the last two games they have come from people running from deep and we have looked dangerous on the counter attack.
“Now it’s the psychological factor as much as anything. We are 90% there, we just need a massive push and we need people to be brave and show conviction with anything in the attacking areas. What’s the worst that can happen? Back yourself, be positive, be direct and got for it”.
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