We're to blame too, says Oxford United star

Banbury Cake: Johnny Mullins (left) and Michael Raynes in the thick of the action at Rochdale Johnny Mullins (left) and Michael Raynes in the thick of the action at Rochdale

Johnny Mullins says the defence must take their share of the blame for Oxford United failing to avoid defeat at Rochdale.

The U’s were on top for much of the game at Spotland, but conceded twice in the final 12 minutes to lose 2-0.

Much of the criticism was aimed at the side’s attacking players, who spurned several chances.

But Mullins felt he and the rest of the back four were just as culpable for failing to keep a clean sheet, which would have at least prevented a sixth successive away defeat in npower League Two.

He said: “I’m just really gutted, because we have given them two goals.

“At half-time, we could have comfortably been ahead, but when it’s not going for you up top, that’s when as defenders we’re paid to keep the ball out of the net.”

For U’s boss Chris Wilder, the inability of his side to follow up the 5-0 thrashing of Accrington with another good result explains why the club are 18th in the table.

He said: “If players want to kick their careers on they have to show what they showed on Saturday again on a Tuesday.

“Maybe not always to the level they showed against Accrington, but somewhere near it, especially the front players.”

He added: “The good players go on and the good teams go on, and that’s what they have to strive for.”

Mullins is the newest arrival to the United squad, after joining on loan from Rotherham earlier this month.

The 26-year-old admits to being surprised by the atmosphere in the camp, which is not what he expected for a side struggling for form.

He said: “It genuinely doesn’t feel like that, there’s so much quality in the dressing room.

“You saw on Saturday and in glimpses against Rochdale what the team can do going forward.

“We know that more often than not we’re going to get the goals – we have players who can create and finish.

“The league table doesn’t lie, but there are a lot of players in the changing room who will be putting it right.”

Comments (4)

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2:01pm Thu 25 Oct 12

RADIOFAN says...

What a load of hogwash. The forwards hasnt been doing it for 3 seasons now so sorry mr Mullins if i find it difficult to have your same optimism.Gaud if only the players could play as good as they talk. We would be running away with the league by now.
What a load of hogwash. The forwards hasnt been doing it for 3 seasons now so sorry mr Mullins if i find it difficult to have your same optimism.Gaud if only the players could play as good as they talk. We would be running away with the league by now. RADIOFAN

3:10pm Thu 25 Oct 12

jbowling says...

As a result of our 'upturn' in results we have picked up seven points in our last eight games. Only two teams performing worse than us.

Interesting that AFC Wimbledon have appointed Neil Ardley since we beat them and have now ten points from their last eight games. So much for the impossibility of finding a new manager.

Wycombe (new manager) have eight points from their last eight games.

I imagine Mr defensive will go for a draw on Saturday and maintain the 'progress.' A defeat seems to have been discounted by many on here ... let's hope the faithful are right
As a result of our 'upturn' in results we have picked up seven points in our last eight games. Only two teams performing worse than us. Interesting that AFC Wimbledon have appointed Neil Ardley since we beat them and have now ten points from their last eight games. So much for the impossibility of finding a new manager. Wycombe (new manager) have eight points from their last eight games. I imagine Mr defensive will go for a draw on Saturday and maintain the 'progress.' A defeat seems to have been discounted by many on here ... let's hope the faithful are right jbowling

4:22pm Thu 25 Oct 12

foxvox says...

John Mullins "admits to being surprised by the atmosphere in the camp, which is not what he expected for a side struggling for form". ........ It's about time the atmosphere in the camp was less than cheerful, it's certainly not good in the crowd, where I sit the Accrington game was only considered safe when the fourth went in. The defeat at Rochdale was far from unexpected.
John Mullins "admits to being surprised by the atmosphere in the camp, which is not what he expected for a side struggling for form". ........ It's about time the atmosphere in the camp was less than cheerful, it's certainly not good in the crowd, where I sit the Accrington game was only considered safe when the fourth went in. The defeat at Rochdale was far from unexpected. foxvox

4:42pm Thu 25 Oct 12

oldun says...

Yep - he will defend at Wycombe - back comes Heslop
Yep - he will defend at Wycombe - back comes Heslop oldun

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