One of the features of the last ten games of the season has been the way that Oxford United have tightened up defensively, a huge part of their survival in League 1.
Four clean sheets in the last nine games have played a big part in their revival and as keeper Simon Eastwood told this week’s Preview Show, one final clean sheet would be the perfect way to end the season against Accrington on Sunday.
“The Gaffer and Hoggy have worked hard with us to make us less vulnerable at the back” he said. “We have kept those four clean sheets and have been structured and settled and as a team we have defended very well. We are harder to beat and have worked on protecting areas in the centre of our goal. As a keeper that’s great because you do want to be hard to beat.
“Over the last few seasons we have been very attacking and had the goals to win games but this time we didn’t have the same number of goals and when that happens you suffer at the back.
“It has been a tough season but a couple of weeks ago if you’d offered us where we are now we would have taken it! We weren’t winning or scoring and it didn’t look good, so to be safe with a game to go is a much better feeling. That rearranged Cheltenham game came at a great time for us, the new Manager had time to work with us and get us going and we have been ready for the battle.
“The fans have been massive for us as well. We needed them to stick behind us, always knowing it was going to come down to these last three games. It hasn’t been a great season but they have been with us all the way.
“At Forest Green we were two or three goals up and I suddenly realised it had gone quiet! Then I twigged that they were listening to the other games and when they started cheering we knew the results were going our way.
“Sunday is still important. We want to finish strongly and build on the last two games. Being really honest it’s nice not to have the stress and pressure on the final day that we might have had. So there is a relief there that we have wrapped things up and are safe but it is still a game we want to win and then we want to thank the fans, not for the season we have had but for sticking with us, home and away.”
See the whole interview in this week’s Preview Show
There is one more chance to get behind the U’s. Book your place for Sunday against Accrington by
- CLICKING HERE
- Calling 01865 337533
- Visitiing the Kassam Stadium Ticket Office in person