Oxford United look to steady the ship

Banbury Cake: Harry Worley (centre) and teammate Johnny Mullins in action for Oxford United in Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Port Vale – their seventh loss in nine league games Harry Worley (centre) and teammate Johnny Mullins in action for Oxford United in Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Port Vale – their seventh loss in nine league games

CHRIS Wilder wants Oxford United to go back to basics tomorrow as they attempt to turn a dismal run of form around.

Only rock bottom Barnet are below the U’s in the npower League Two form table after picking up just four points from their last nine games.

After a win against AFC Wimbledon and a draw with leaders Gillingham it had looked like United had stopped the rot, but a 3-0 defeat at Port Vale on Monday sent them back to square one.

In response to the worrying performance at Vale Park, Wilder first and foremost wants a solid, uncomplicated performance when Accrington Stanley visit the Kassam Stadium.

He said: “We’ve got to have men who do the basics at the right time, being hard to beat and positive.

“Those are the two things we’ve talked about all week – we have to play forward and then when we lose possession we’ve got to get it back as soon as possible. We need to show a reaction in both parts of the game.

“Don’t take chances, give nothing away, don’t be soft in defence and let the lads at the top of the pitch be positive and go for it. We did that against Cheltenham (a 4-2 win) and Gillingham.

“First of all we have to win physical battles all over the pitch, we have to show that physicality to our game, which we did not do on Monday.

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“If you do that and the ball breaks we have enough ability to go and try to get after teams.”

The approach will have an influence on the home side’s selection.

Wilder described the Vale defeat as being like men against boys, so he will look to avoid a repeat by fielding as senior a side as possible.

He said: “I’m looking to go with my experienced players, my senior players that are available and the ones I can trust to put in a steady performance.

“I need to look to see who I can give me a consistent performance on the day, who can stick to their jobs.

“Andy Whing comes right into the equation and I’m going to have to chuck him in.

“It is obviously a risk, but the boy’s sticking his hand up to play.”

The last home game saw United hold Gillingham to a goalless draw a fortnight ago.

It was a rare clean sheet for a side which has conceded an average of two goals per game this season – the third worst in the division.

Wilder does not believe the U’s can climb the table without improvements being made defensively.

He said: “You’ve got to give yourself a platform to go and get a result.

“Of course changes don’t help, but we need to defend better.

“The first two goals (against Port Vale) were really poor from our point of view because they were two straight balls. “At the moment one goal goes in and we seem to drop our heads – that can’t happen.

“Hopefully with a few of the senior players coming back they’ll bring that influence into the team.

“Maybe that’s what I’ve got to do going into Saturday’s game in terms of the age and the games they’ve played in their careers.

“We need to be better defensively and that would give us a platform to go forward with confidence.”

Comments (8)

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11:36am Fri 19 Oct 12

Inkpot says...

You are a fool, Pritchard!!!!!!!!
Wilder didn't men the U's players were young (ie not senior), he meant that the players quality and play was like they were "boys" compared to PV players being "men".
You are a fool, Pritchard!!!!!!!! Wilder didn't men the U's players were young (ie not senior), he meant that the players quality and play was like they were "boys" compared to PV players being "men". Inkpot
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Fri 19 Oct 12

adlibber says...

Sod the back to basics I'd like wilder to go back to Yorkshire - he is not good enough to manage this club any more. Why does Lenagan seem prepared to sacrifice the football club to keep a man who has failed at the helm? Does he want non league football/part time players/tiny budget? If Lenagan is such a successful businessman I assume he gets the whole 'speculate to accumulate' principle? If he took a smallish punt on and up and coming manager it might just work - after all if relegation is the alternative well Wilder is taking towards that finale anyway.
Sod the back to basics I'd like wilder to go back to Yorkshire - he is not good enough to manage this club any more. Why does Lenagan seem prepared to sacrifice the football club to keep a man who has failed at the helm? Does he want non league football/part time players/tiny budget? If Lenagan is such a successful businessman I assume he gets the whole 'speculate to accumulate' principle? If he took a smallish punt on and up and coming manager it might just work - after all if relegation is the alternative well Wilder is taking towards that finale anyway. adlibber
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Open your eyes says...

Is this the same interview from last week and the six weeks before that?

At least we know what will be said next week before the side go into a derby at Wycombe. If i was Mr Pritchard I would write next Friday's article this afternoon.
Is this the same interview from last week and the six weeks before that? At least we know what will be said next week before the side go into a derby at Wycombe. If i was Mr Pritchard I would write next Friday's article this afternoon. Open your eyes
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Fri 19 Oct 12

RADIOFAN says...

Talk is cheap.
Talk is cheap. RADIOFAN
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 19 Oct 12

jbowling says...

It will be ok when the injured players are back.

If that phrase sounds familiar it was what the Wilder fans were saying last season when we were without Potter and Craddock. Big difference they've made.

And if he wants a physical presence now you will not get that from Chapman, Foster Caskey, Craddock, Capaldi, Potter et al.

Same old same old ..... just give him a bit more time ..... yawn
It will be ok when the injured players are back. If that phrase sounds familiar it was what the Wilder fans were saying last season when we were without Potter and Craddock. Big difference they've made. And if he wants a physical presence now you will not get that from Chapman, Foster Caskey, Craddock, Capaldi, Potter et al. Same old same old ..... just give him a bit more time ..... yawn jbowling
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Wiggo71 says...

Wilder OUT....get off my land....!
Wilder OUT....get off my land....! Wiggo71
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Merekat1 says...

Surely we must win against Accrington Stanley at home. Even Wilder should be able to manage this, or at least his players should.

Maybe a spot of gardening leave for CW might be in the interests of all concerned.

I think we will win tomorrow, even if I base my opinion on the law of averages.
Surely we must win against Accrington Stanley at home. Even Wilder should be able to manage this, or at least his players should. Maybe a spot of gardening leave for CW might be in the interests of all concerned. I think we will win tomorrow, even if I base my opinion on the law of averages. Merekat1
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Joe1 says...

GOALS ,GOALS & YET MORE GOALS. THAT IS THE MAJOR THING WE ARE MISSING. CW, PLEASE WAKE UP, WE CAN'T WIN GAMES IF WE DON'T OR CAN'T SCORE. LET'S HOPE WE RECTIFY THAT PROBLEM ON SATURDAY.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
GOALS ,GOALS & YET MORE GOALS. THAT IS THE MAJOR THING WE ARE MISSING. CW, PLEASE WAKE UP, WE CAN'T WIN GAMES IF WE DON'T OR CAN'T SCORE. LET'S HOPE WE RECTIFY THAT PROBLEM ON SATURDAY. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS" Joe1
  • Score: 0

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