Oxford United slide continues as Burton defeat sees them drop to sixth + match highlights video

Oxford United striker David Connolly cannot believe it as Burton keeper Rob Lainton makes a stunning save to deny him an equaliser in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat

Oxford United striker David Connolly cannot believe it as Burton keeper Rob Lainton makes a stunning save to deny him an equaliser in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat

First published in Sport Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

MICKEY Lewis backed his out-of-form players to put in hard graft to reignite Oxford United’s promotion push.

The U’s lost their third game in a winless run of four matches when Burton Albion won 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium in a contest of contrasting halves on Saturday.

The visitors sprinted into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Dominic Knowles and Zeli Ismail and before the half-hour mark had been reached, Billy Kee had a penalty saved by Ryan Clarke.

United improved in the second half and Ryan Williams pulled a goal back.

They had chances to get on level terms, but the defeat means they have now picked up one point from a possible 12.

It is their worst sequence of the campaign and has seen hopes of automatic promotion recede.

Lewis, who has won two of nine games as caretaker manager, stressed the only way out of the rut was through hard graft.

He said: “It doesn’t matter who the manager is, whether it’s me, Chris Wilder or someone else, some of our players at the moment are not at the top of their form.

“Some of them are senior players and they have to take responsibility – which they do, to be fair, in the dressing room.

“We have all been through it when you are not at your best form and what you do is you work harder.”

The biggest concern for United was the defending.

It was a similar case a week earlier in a 3-0 defeat at Rochdale and Lewis, who felt there were encouraging signs at the other end, was critical of the goals his side conceded.

“The first goal we totally switched off,” he said. “We always say you’re most vulnerable when you’ve got the ball and we definitely switched off.

“The second one we dived in, perhaps we were a bit upset and tense because we had conceded the first.

“We dived in for the penalty as well.”

He added: “To draw positives, as you always must, the second-half performance was really good.

“We created chances, we just need to get back to defending as we have done most of the season.”

Dave Kitson was forced off with an injury in the first half and the initial assessment did not look good for the 34-year-old.

Lewis said: “It was the same hamstring he did before, so I can’t see him playing in the next few weeks.

“It’s bad timing, but we’ve got Dave Connolly.

“The only reason he didn’t start was because he had a bit of the bug which was going around and we didn’t think he could do 90 minutes.

“He came on after about 30 and I thought he was excellent.”

Comments (10)

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10:32am Mon 10 Mar 14

adlibber says...

Lewis even sounds like Wilder - same tired excuses for a string of mediocre perfromances. 17pts dropped since Lewis took over and we're hanging on to a play off spot because teams near us are slipping up too. I think two teams from current play off spot may be overtaken by possibly Plymouth and York both are on decent runs. If we don't start winning we might be one of these teams. Lewis isn't good enough and sadly neither are half the team. If you listen to the ambitions of Luton who I (and others) have said they'll probably skate through this league next year, compared to our over cautious approach , you can feel the wind as they pass us by. I expect they'll reach championship in 3-4 seasons. We've been stuck in league two for 4 years living off promises and hype. Lenagan needs to act soon if he wants to hang on to what has been fantastic support for a very average team. At least two of my friends who are season ticket holders won't renew if we don't go up. I can't find any reasons to persuade them to stay. Lewis has to go as do the rest of 1st team coaching staff and we need to ship out players who are getting paid too much to play so poorly.
Lewis even sounds like Wilder - same tired excuses for a string of mediocre perfromances. 17pts dropped since Lewis took over and we're hanging on to a play off spot because teams near us are slipping up too. I think two teams from current play off spot may be overtaken by possibly Plymouth and York both are on decent runs. If we don't start winning we might be one of these teams. Lewis isn't good enough and sadly neither are half the team. If you listen to the ambitions of Luton who I (and others) have said they'll probably skate through this league next year, compared to our over cautious approach , you can feel the wind as they pass us by. I expect they'll reach championship in 3-4 seasons. We've been stuck in league two for 4 years living off promises and hype. Lenagan needs to act soon if he wants to hang on to what has been fantastic support for a very average team. At least two of my friends who are season ticket holders won't renew if we don't go up. I can't find any reasons to persuade them to stay. Lewis has to go as do the rest of 1st team coaching staff and we need to ship out players who are getting paid too much to play so poorly. adlibber
  • Score: -1

10:58am Mon 10 Mar 14

DECKCHAIRMARK says...

40 out of Oxford s 55pts has come against teams in the bottom half of the league. Only 15 against the top half. If we collect the same amount of points in the final 11 matches as we did in the reverse fixtures we would collect a massive 13pts out of 33 in which CW was in charge. It would leave us a final total of 68 which will not get us into the play offs. We also do not win the big games. We are DOOMED. Face it.
40 out of Oxford s 55pts has come against teams in the bottom half of the league. Only 15 against the top half. If we collect the same amount of points in the final 11 matches as we did in the reverse fixtures we would collect a massive 13pts out of 33 in which CW was in charge. It would leave us a final total of 68 which will not get us into the play offs. We also do not win the big games. We are DOOMED. Face it. DECKCHAIRMARK
  • Score: 5

11:33am Mon 10 Mar 14

hilliatman says...

Ambition ambition ambition what's going on IL wanted us to be in the championship within 5 Years ?????? Well ????? Not going to talk about that one ???? He keeps making promises ?..?????? But what happens ??????? NOTHING manager NOTHING shall go on DIVISION ONE next YEAR NOT ON HELL CHANCE has NOTHING WILL HAPPEN AGAIN what what will happen is the supporters will get fed up and go somewhere else ??????
Ambition ambition ambition what's going on IL wanted us to be in the championship within 5 Years ?????? Well ????? Not going to talk about that one ???? He keeps making promises ?..?????? But what happens ??????? NOTHING manager NOTHING shall go on DIVISION ONE next YEAR NOT ON HELL CHANCE has NOTHING WILL HAPPEN AGAIN what what will happen is the supporters will get fed up and go somewhere else ?????? hilliatman
  • Score: -2

1:24pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Doctor69 says...

The realisation that we are a poor team, in a very poor league. Being saying this all season.

Personally i don't think IL wants OUFC to go up the leagues. What's in it for him? The reality of promotion would be, increased wages to retained players on improved contracts, any new players coming in would want more money, would require a higher calibre of player - therefore transfer fees increase. All of these additional overheads with very little increase in gate receipts equal IL having to put his hand in his pocket more regularly, which you cant blame him for not wanting to do.

I think its time to accept we are a league 2 club with little real ambition from the top managment
The realisation that we are a poor team, in a very poor league. Being saying this all season. Personally i don't think IL wants OUFC to go up the leagues. What's in it for him? The reality of promotion would be, increased wages to retained players on improved contracts, any new players coming in would want more money, would require a higher calibre of player - therefore transfer fees increase. All of these additional overheads with very little increase in gate receipts equal IL having to put his hand in his pocket more regularly, which you cant blame him for not wanting to do. I think its time to accept we are a league 2 club with little real ambition from the top managment Doctor69
  • Score: 5

3:42pm Mon 10 Mar 14

william12 says...

The problem is the players are not good enough.They talk a good game each week and that is it. The same old talk our next perfprmance, the trouble is it gets worse.This is a mid table team., incapable of performing for 90+minutes let alone consistently.
The problem is the players are not good enough.They talk a good game each week and that is it. The same old talk our next perfprmance, the trouble is it gets worse.This is a mid table team., incapable of performing for 90+minutes let alone consistently. william12
  • Score: 2

5:46pm Mon 10 Mar 14

jbowling says...

For someone who is obviously wealthy, IL acts as though he is trying to save every penny to the detriment of the club. He retained Wilder for far too long in order to avoid paying off his contract. And was jubilant when he got a few grand from Northampton.
He has kept ML and AM to save on a new managers salary. He does not want to pay compensation so is waiting till the end of the season for a new appointment which effectively ruins our chance this year.
He has implied that any new manager will have to work with ML and AM instead of allowing them to bring in their own team - many applicants will not like this either.
Penny pinching cost us last year and this year could be the same.
WHERE'S THE URGENCY
For someone who is obviously wealthy, IL acts as though he is trying to save every penny to the detriment of the club. He retained Wilder for far too long in order to avoid paying off his contract. And was jubilant when he got a few grand from Northampton. He has kept ML and AM to save on a new managers salary. He does not want to pay compensation so is waiting till the end of the season for a new appointment which effectively ruins our chance this year. He has implied that any new manager will have to work with ML and AM instead of allowing them to bring in their own team - many applicants will not like this either. Penny pinching cost us last year and this year could be the same. WHERE'S THE URGENCY jbowling
  • Score: 1

7:35pm Mon 10 Mar 14

brow1985 says...

adlibber wrote:
Lewis even sounds like Wilder - same tired excuses for a string of mediocre perfromances. 17pts dropped since Lewis took over and we're hanging on to a play off spot because teams near us are slipping up too. I think two teams from current play off spot may be overtaken by possibly Plymouth and York both are on decent runs. If we don't start winning we might be one of these teams. Lewis isn't good enough and sadly neither are half the team. If you listen to the ambitions of Luton who I (and others) have said they'll probably skate through this league next year, compared to our over cautious approach , you can feel the wind as they pass us by. I expect they'll reach championship in 3-4 seasons. We've been stuck in league two for 4 years living off promises and hype. Lenagan needs to act soon if he wants to hang on to what has been fantastic support for a very average team. At least two of my friends who are season ticket holders won't renew if we don't go up. I can't find any reasons to persuade them to stay. Lewis has to go as do the rest of 1st team coaching staff and we need to ship out players who are getting paid too much to play so poorly.
Lewis hasn't taken over. He is a caretaker manager who is tasked with continuing the old regime until a permanent appointment is made. He has to do the best he can with Chris Wilders team, staff and training set up.

Once a new manager is appointed, Lewis or an outsider. Changes can begin to made, like back room staff, contract negotiations. We are, however, still left with Chris Wilders team until transfer windows open. Which means any managerial appointment has an excuse for doing badly and avoiding accountability.

This is why losing your manager at the end of the final transfer window is bad news. Unfortunately Wilder was given a no brainer, either stay at promotion chasing side with massive expectations and therefore large amounts of risk for his career. Or go to Northampton, where he is either a Hero for staying in the league or a manager who heroically tried and failed to turn a club around.

On an individual result point of view, although i didn't watch the game, the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale you could attribute to bringing back two central defenders from injury at the same time. After watching Jake Wright against Burton, it is clear he is not match ready. Raynes even when 100% match ready still makes mistakes. So was this Lewis's fault for bringing them back, i would say no. The fullbacks were doing a stirling job but we were getting undone at corners and set plays late in the games costing us points. Better bring the central defenders back and get them match ready ASAP for the up coming fixtures.
[quote][p][bold]adlibber[/bold] wrote: Lewis even sounds like Wilder - same tired excuses for a string of mediocre perfromances. 17pts dropped since Lewis took over and we're hanging on to a play off spot because teams near us are slipping up too. I think two teams from current play off spot may be overtaken by possibly Plymouth and York both are on decent runs. If we don't start winning we might be one of these teams. Lewis isn't good enough and sadly neither are half the team. If you listen to the ambitions of Luton who I (and others) have said they'll probably skate through this league next year, compared to our over cautious approach , you can feel the wind as they pass us by. I expect they'll reach championship in 3-4 seasons. We've been stuck in league two for 4 years living off promises and hype. Lenagan needs to act soon if he wants to hang on to what has been fantastic support for a very average team. At least two of my friends who are season ticket holders won't renew if we don't go up. I can't find any reasons to persuade them to stay. Lewis has to go as do the rest of 1st team coaching staff and we need to ship out players who are getting paid too much to play so poorly.[/p][/quote]Lewis hasn't taken over. He is a caretaker manager who is tasked with continuing the old regime until a permanent appointment is made. He has to do the best he can with Chris Wilders team, staff and training set up. Once a new manager is appointed, Lewis or an outsider. Changes can begin to made, like back room staff, contract negotiations. We are, however, still left with Chris Wilders team until transfer windows open. Which means any managerial appointment has an excuse for doing badly and avoiding accountability. This is why losing your manager at the end of the final transfer window is bad news. Unfortunately Wilder was given a no brainer, either stay at promotion chasing side with massive expectations and therefore large amounts of risk for his career. Or go to Northampton, where he is either a Hero for staying in the league or a manager who heroically tried and failed to turn a club around. On an individual result point of view, although i didn't watch the game, the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale you could attribute to bringing back two central defenders from injury at the same time. After watching Jake Wright against Burton, it is clear he is not match ready. Raynes even when 100% match ready still makes mistakes. So was this Lewis's fault for bringing them back, i would say no. The fullbacks were doing a stirling job but we were getting undone at corners and set plays late in the games costing us points. Better bring the central defenders back and get them match ready ASAP for the up coming fixtures. brow1985
  • Score: 3

7:44pm Mon 10 Mar 14

adlibber says...

brow1985 wrote:
adlibber wrote:
Lewis even sounds like Wilder - same tired excuses for a string of mediocre perfromances. 17pts dropped since Lewis took over and we're hanging on to a play off spot because teams near us are slipping up too. I think two teams from current play off spot may be overtaken by possibly Plymouth and York both are on decent runs. If we don't start winning we might be one of these teams. Lewis isn't good enough and sadly neither are half the team. If you listen to the ambitions of Luton who I (and others) have said they'll probably skate through this league next year, compared to our over cautious approach , you can feel the wind as they pass us by. I expect they'll reach championship in 3-4 seasons. We've been stuck in league two for 4 years living off promises and hype. Lenagan needs to act soon if he wants to hang on to what has been fantastic support for a very average team. At least two of my friends who are season ticket holders won't renew if we don't go up. I can't find any reasons to persuade them to stay. Lewis has to go as do the rest of 1st team coaching staff and we need to ship out players who are getting paid too much to play so poorly.
Lewis hasn't taken over. He is a caretaker manager who is tasked with continuing the old regime until a permanent appointment is made. He has to do the best he can with Chris Wilders team, staff and training set up.

Once a new manager is appointed, Lewis or an outsider. Changes can begin to made, like back room staff, contract negotiations. We are, however, still left with Chris Wilders team until transfer windows open. Which means any managerial appointment has an excuse for doing badly and avoiding accountability.

This is why losing your manager at the end of the final transfer window is bad news. Unfortunately Wilder was given a no brainer, either stay at promotion chasing side with massive expectations and therefore large amounts of risk for his career. Or go to Northampton, where he is either a Hero for staying in the league or a manager who heroically tried and failed to turn a club around.

On an individual result point of view, although i didn't watch the game, the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale you could attribute to bringing back two central defenders from injury at the same time. After watching Jake Wright against Burton, it is clear he is not match ready. Raynes even when 100% match ready still makes mistakes. So was this Lewis's fault for bringing them back, i would say no. The fullbacks were doing a stirling job but we were getting undone at corners and set plays late in the games costing us points. Better bring the central defenders back and get them match ready ASAP for the up coming fixtures.
Lewis is the manager irrespective of it being in a caretaker role and he's doing a poor job. He's known the players as long as Wilder and he can't get seem to improve the players one ounce. Lewis just isn't cut out for a management role he doesn't have the tactical nous or the vision. I agree with your view on Wilder and I think if we fail to go up this year Lenagan's gamble of leaving Lewis in charge means the buck stop with the owner. We don't have any width and our midfield is below average. Strikers have gone awol and I actually think Constable is nowhere near his best any more. Unless there's a sea change in attitude and performance for last 11games I fear it's another bleak season in league two next year.
[quote][p][bold]brow1985[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adlibber[/bold] wrote: Lewis even sounds like Wilder - same tired excuses for a string of mediocre perfromances. 17pts dropped since Lewis took over and we're hanging on to a play off spot because teams near us are slipping up too. I think two teams from current play off spot may be overtaken by possibly Plymouth and York both are on decent runs. If we don't start winning we might be one of these teams. Lewis isn't good enough and sadly neither are half the team. If you listen to the ambitions of Luton who I (and others) have said they'll probably skate through this league next year, compared to our over cautious approach , you can feel the wind as they pass us by. I expect they'll reach championship in 3-4 seasons. We've been stuck in league two for 4 years living off promises and hype. Lenagan needs to act soon if he wants to hang on to what has been fantastic support for a very average team. At least two of my friends who are season ticket holders won't renew if we don't go up. I can't find any reasons to persuade them to stay. Lewis has to go as do the rest of 1st team coaching staff and we need to ship out players who are getting paid too much to play so poorly.[/p][/quote]Lewis hasn't taken over. He is a caretaker manager who is tasked with continuing the old regime until a permanent appointment is made. He has to do the best he can with Chris Wilders team, staff and training set up. Once a new manager is appointed, Lewis or an outsider. Changes can begin to made, like back room staff, contract negotiations. We are, however, still left with Chris Wilders team until transfer windows open. Which means any managerial appointment has an excuse for doing badly and avoiding accountability. This is why losing your manager at the end of the final transfer window is bad news. Unfortunately Wilder was given a no brainer, either stay at promotion chasing side with massive expectations and therefore large amounts of risk for his career. Or go to Northampton, where he is either a Hero for staying in the league or a manager who heroically tried and failed to turn a club around. On an individual result point of view, although i didn't watch the game, the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale you could attribute to bringing back two central defenders from injury at the same time. After watching Jake Wright against Burton, it is clear he is not match ready. Raynes even when 100% match ready still makes mistakes. So was this Lewis's fault for bringing them back, i would say no. The fullbacks were doing a stirling job but we were getting undone at corners and set plays late in the games costing us points. Better bring the central defenders back and get them match ready ASAP for the up coming fixtures.[/p][/quote]Lewis is the manager irrespective of it being in a caretaker role and he's doing a poor job. He's known the players as long as Wilder and he can't get seem to improve the players one ounce. Lewis just isn't cut out for a management role he doesn't have the tactical nous or the vision. I agree with your view on Wilder and I think if we fail to go up this year Lenagan's gamble of leaving Lewis in charge means the buck stop with the owner. We don't have any width and our midfield is below average. Strikers have gone awol and I actually think Constable is nowhere near his best any more. Unless there's a sea change in attitude and performance for last 11games I fear it's another bleak season in league two next year. adlibber
  • Score: 1

8:09am Tue 11 Mar 14

Davos P says...

I don't believe this is a mid table team. The team has improved from last season as early results have shown. The unsettling nature of CW leaving and indecision from IL has led to poor motivation as players aren't giving 100% cos they don't know where the club is heading.
I don't believe this is a mid table team. The team has improved from last season as early results have shown. The unsettling nature of CW leaving and indecision from IL has led to poor motivation as players aren't giving 100% cos they don't know where the club is heading. Davos P
  • Score: 2

1:19pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Doctor69 says...

jbowling wrote:
For someone who is obviously wealthy, IL acts as though he is trying to save every penny to the detriment of the club. He retained Wilder for far too long in order to avoid paying off his contract. And was jubilant when he got a few grand from Northampton.
He has kept ML and AM to save on a new managers salary. He does not want to pay compensation so is waiting till the end of the season for a new appointment which effectively ruins our chance this year.
He has implied that any new manager will have to work with ML and AM instead of allowing them to bring in their own team - many applicants will not like this either.
Penny pinching cost us last year and this year could be the same.
WHERE'S THE URGENCY
IL has pumped millions of his own money into OUFC, I agree he is careful with the money but you can hardly blame the bloke.
I'm not his biggest fan, but i do understand that a football club at this level can easily become a bottomless pit.

If OUFC go up this season, are we really in a position to make a good go of it next season and stay up, or would we struggle and likely be relegated? If we are going to struggle and come straight back down, crowds will dwindle further but we will have higher overheads, therefore even less money to play with.

I think whilst we are signed up to the current rental deal at the kassam, we will continue struggling both on and off the pitch, as it sucks all our resources. I don't know what the answer is either - buying the ground isn't it though. With an asking price of £12 million or whatever, where would the money come from?
[quote][p][bold]jbowling[/bold] wrote: For someone who is obviously wealthy, IL acts as though he is trying to save every penny to the detriment of the club. He retained Wilder for far too long in order to avoid paying off his contract. And was jubilant when he got a few grand from Northampton. He has kept ML and AM to save on a new managers salary. He does not want to pay compensation so is waiting till the end of the season for a new appointment which effectively ruins our chance this year. He has implied that any new manager will have to work with ML and AM instead of allowing them to bring in their own team - many applicants will not like this either. Penny pinching cost us last year and this year could be the same. WHERE'S THE URGENCY[/p][/quote]IL has pumped millions of his own money into OUFC, I agree he is careful with the money but you can hardly blame the bloke. I'm not his biggest fan, but i do understand that a football club at this level can easily become a bottomless pit. If OUFC go up this season, are we really in a position to make a good go of it next season and stay up, or would we struggle and likely be relegated? If we are going to struggle and come straight back down, crowds will dwindle further but we will have higher overheads, therefore even less money to play with. I think whilst we are signed up to the current rental deal at the kassam, we will continue struggling both on and off the pitch, as it sucks all our resources. I don't know what the answer is either - buying the ground isn't it though. With an asking price of £12 million or whatever, where would the money come from? Doctor69
  • Score: 0

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