Wilder eyes new approach

The Oxford United pitch does not help a player like Sean Rigg, whose game is based around dribbling

The Oxford United pitch does not help a player like Sean Rigg, whose game is based around dribbling

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

Chris Wilder believes Oxford United will have to compromise their game plan at home to adjust for the condition of the Kassam Stadium pitch.

The playing surface has deteriorated over the last few weeks, with one area by the tunnel particularly struggling.

In the last home game against Burton the patch was covered in sand, which proved problematic for wide players on both sides.

Wilder knows the difficulties could last until the end of the season, so has set about finding a way to cope with the conditions.

It means making changes to the way United play, which is not ideal. The United manager said: “There are three ways to win a football match – playing through teams, round teams and over teams.

“There always has to be a structure and we have to put round pegs in round holes, and we’ll try to work out the best way to get a result.

“We’ve certainly got to take the conditions into consideration.

“It compromises a lot of things because I’ve brought players in to play through teams.

“I think people have appreciated that we’ve played a lot of decent football in my time here.

“Over a nine-month season you always have to overcome different hurdles, but you don’t normally have to overcome something different at home.

“Against Bristol Rovers last season when their pitch was an absolute nightmare we had to change a little bit, but you don’t really want to when you’re at home.

“We’ve always tried to start attacks at the back, but maybe on our pitch it will need a different way of playing between now and the end of the season.

“We have to adapt. There’s no way we can start rolling it about at the back, because it won’t help us get results.”

A change in approach will have an impact on selection.

If the U’s plan to go more direct, then the added physical presence of Justin Richards could be preferred to the more skilful talents of Tom Craddock.

Richards is hoping he can play an important role, after signing a contract until the end of the season on deadline day.

He said: “I think it can be a case of horses for courses. “Sometimes it’s not going to be pretty if the elements are against you, so you have to adapt.

“It’s no good being ignorant towards it and blaming it, you’ve got to adapt.”

Comments (2)

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10:07am Fri 8 Feb 13

BigAlBiker says...

If CW wants a new approach he should leave and let someone else have a go, one with brains, a tactical insight into the division and one forward thinking.

P45 time CW.
If CW wants a new approach he should leave and let someone else have a go, one with brains, a tactical insight into the division and one forward thinking. P45 time CW. BigAlBiker
  • Score: -4

5:24pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Abingdonox says...

Big Al, it's getting a bit boring with all your anti Chris Wilder rhetoric at every opportunity, I think we get the message, now why don't you give us all a break. I for one think he is talking a lot of sense in this article.
Big Al, it's getting a bit boring with all your anti Chris Wilder rhetoric at every opportunity, I think we get the message, now why don't you give us all a break. I for one think he is talking a lot of sense in this article. Abingdonox
  • Score: 2

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