MICKEY Lewis says Oxford United still fear no-one – despite their dismal run of form.
Five straight league defeats have seen the U’s drop to 17th in the npower League Two table.
And while a trip to Rotherham is hardly the sort of match you would relish, Lewis believes it could be ideal.
When asked whether he thought everyone from the outside would see the game as a home banker, United’s assistant manager replied: “Let’s hope they do!
“I don’t think Rotherham will think that at all, they know it will be a very tough match – for both teams.
“They’re a good team, but we don’t fear anybody.
“I think it’s a good, strong league, but anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“We are hurting after the defeats, but these are the same players that won the first three games and beat Bournemouth and Swindon in the cups.”
Lewis revealed the United players came back in 24 hours after their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Bradford for a group meeting.
He explained: “We had a very frank and open meeting on Sunday.
“It wasn’t a punishment, but we felt that the sooner we had that meeting the better – and it was really positive.
“It wasn’t a meeting where everyone was having a go at each other, but instead it was upbeat and trying to make sure we put things right.
“It’s been a really positive week and the lads are really up for it – so much so that we are trying to make sure we keep them a little bit calm.”
Lewis admits that it is weeks like this that the coaching staff earn their money, making sure they pick the players up after more disappointment.
“There is no point the manager and us coaching staff walking round with our heads down by our knees,” he said.
“We sat in the office for a couple of hours after Saturday’s game, talked things through and it ruins your weekend.
“But come Monday, it’s our job to not only get ready for the game, but be as positive as we can.”
United had a rare bit of good news this week with Jake Forster-Caskey returning to training after tonsillitis.
Lewis believes the injury problems United have suffered this season is the worst run of luck during his career.
“It’s unbelievable (to have some good news), isn’t it,” Lewis joked.
“I started my career at West Brom at 16 and in my 30-and-a-bit-year career in the game I’ve never known anything like it.
“You don’t like to use it as an excuse, but we have been so unlucky.
“It feels as though whenever there is a tackle in a game, one of our players gets injured.
“It’s quite scary to be honest with how things have unfolded with injuries this season. But we’ll get through it.”