Oxford United must kick-on

Banbury Cake: Oxford United’s coaching team of Mickey Lewis, Chris Wilder and Andy Melville deep in thought during their side’s poor run Oxford United’s coaching team of Mickey Lewis, Chris Wilder and Andy Melville deep in thought during their side’s poor run

Few people in football can call on the depth of experience Andy Melville has at his disposal.

But even the Oxford United first-team coach admitted he moved into uncharted territory by the side’s recent losing slump.

A desperate September saw the U’s lose six successive league games, their worst run in a full season for 25 years.

The search for a solution prompted Melville to look back over a career which took in more than 900 appearances for club and country.

But even such a rich CV failed to match a barren run quite as prolonged, which meant Melville was as thrilled as anyone by Tuesday’s 3-2 win against AFC Wimbledon.

“You can tell it’s a relief for everyone,” he said.

“You look back on your experience as a player and a coach and you think ‘have I been through this before?’ “I just can’t remember losing six on the bounce, it’s a difficult situation and all you can do is be positive and work hard.

“It will always turn, just like it did the other way when we won three in a row at the start of the season.

“Football can kick you in the teeth at times, but we’ve responded now and hopefully we can go from strength to strength.”

Melville plied his trade as a defender, so it was with some dismay that he has watched 21 goals fly in during the last eight games.

Restoring the resilience which earned three successive clean sheets at the start of the season has been a priority this week.

The 43-year-old is unhappy with the record, but believes the buck stops with the team as a whole, rather than with just the back four.

He said: “You can’t go blaming units – when you’re not scoring you don’t point your finger at certain players.

“You’re all in it together, everyone goes back at set-plays and the strikers and midfielders have all got their jobs. We just need to tighten up on that.

“The biggest thing I think in football is when we’ve got the ball we need to be organised.

“We need to improve on that, but in general, believe it or not, we’ve defended OK.”

League leaders Gillingham visit the Kassam Stadium to put the U’s newfound confidence to the test.

Melville said: “It will be difficult because they’ve started the season really well.

“But if we put the same work ethic in and stick together then hopefully we’ll be OK.

“We want the players to enjoy it when we win, but as coaches we’re the boring ones who tell them to get ready for the next game, because they come thick and fast.

“You remind them they have to get their recovery right and look after themselves, because it’s a big game against Gillingham.

“It’s a good home game for us and it would be a good scalp if we could get a result against them.”

Comments (9)

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12:37pm Fri 5 Oct 12

jbowling says...

So we learnt this week two major facts :-

1 A large number of fans want the manager to stay - for the life of me I don't know why but we all have our own opinions.

2 He has effectively been given to the end of the season before being sacked as the optimistic owner will remain hopeful ofr a surge up the tabe to finish seventh and we win the play offs.


So let's see what happens and hope we win win our home games against fellow relegation strugglers like we did this week - just.
So we learnt this week two major facts :- 1 A large number of fans want the manager to stay - for the life of me I don't know why but we all have our own opinions. 2 He has effectively been given to the end of the season before being sacked as the optimistic owner will remain hopeful ofr a surge up the tabe to finish seventh and we win the play offs. So let's see what happens and hope we win win our home games against fellow relegation strugglers like we did this week - just. jbowling

1:01pm Fri 5 Oct 12

BigOx22 says...

jbowling - We have to stick behind the team. Yes we all have our own opinions and opinions should be left till after the game not during the game. During the game the players need to have the support of the crowd! We don't have the money to sack Wilder even if IL wanted to. CW isn't just going his job unless he really really has too. We will turn things around I have faith!

COYY
jbowling - We have to stick behind the team. Yes we all have our own opinions and opinions should be left till after the game not during the game. During the game the players need to have the support of the crowd! We don't have the money to sack Wilder even if IL wanted to. CW isn't just going his job unless he really really has too. We will turn things around I have faith! COYY BigOx22

2:05pm Fri 5 Oct 12

jbowling says...

We both want the best for our club BigOx.

I have just run out of patience which is probably my failing
We both want the best for our club BigOx. I have just run out of patience which is probably my failing jbowling

2:40pm Fri 5 Oct 12

BigOx22 says...

I respect everyone has there own opinion. I am also losing patience but we have to try and trust what is going on. Nothing will ever happen over night. I just hope the fans get behind the team tomoz. I will be there as usual come rain or shine, win lose or draw I will still go up and support the team.
I respect everyone has there own opinion. I am also losing patience but we have to try and trust what is going on. Nothing will ever happen over night. I just hope the fans get behind the team tomoz. I will be there as usual come rain or shine, win lose or draw I will still go up and support the team. BigOx22

4:00pm Fri 5 Oct 12

oufc1984 says...

i like most get constantly frustrated by wilders lack of tactical nouse and i think at most clubs he would have been relieved of his duties by now but his overall record at oxford is good and his has proved himself at oxford enough to be given a chance to turn things around and the fans, whatever there opinions should just get behind him , and more importantly the team at all games. very tough game tomorrow but not impossible to get a win, and what a difference 2 wins in a week would make for confidence...
i like most get constantly frustrated by wilders lack of tactical nouse and i think at most clubs he would have been relieved of his duties by now but his overall record at oxford is good and his has proved himself at oxford enough to be given a chance to turn things around and the fans, whatever there opinions should just get behind him , and more importantly the team at all games. very tough game tomorrow but not impossible to get a win, and what a difference 2 wins in a week would make for confidence... oufc1984

4:48pm Fri 5 Oct 12

jbowling says...

Where I think we basically disagree is that he hasn't been given enough time already.

He has been here for four years.

We finished third in the Conference under him and our team now is worse than the one we had at Wembley.

Bottom half of div two is not very good but don't start me off again !
Where I think we basically disagree is that he hasn't been given enough time already. He has been here for four years. We finished third in the Conference under him and our team now is worse than the one we had at Wembley. Bottom half of div two is not very good but don't start me off again ! jbowling

5:46pm Fri 5 Oct 12

support your local team says...

jbowling wrote:
Where I think we basically disagree is that he hasn't been given enough time already.

He has been here for four years.

We finished third in the Conference under him and our team now is worse than the one we had at Wembley.

Bottom half of div two is not very good but don't start me off again !
Simply cannot agree that our team (squad) is worse than the one we had at Wembley.
Bottom half of Div 2 isnt very good but pick up a few points and you are back in the hunt.
Glass half full me.
[quote][p][bold]jbowling[/bold] wrote: Where I think we basically disagree is that he hasn't been given enough time already. He has been here for four years. We finished third in the Conference under him and our team now is worse than the one we had at Wembley. Bottom half of div two is not very good but don't start me off again ![/p][/quote]Simply cannot agree that our team (squad) is worse than the one we had at Wembley. Bottom half of Div 2 isnt very good but pick up a few points and you are back in the hunt. Glass half full me. support your local team

6:39pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Ian Faulkner says...

My friend whom I drive with to Oxford has lost faith and is boycotting games for a while, but this has made me all the more determined to support Chris Wilder and the team.
My friend whom I drive with to Oxford has lost faith and is boycotting games for a while, but this has made me all the more determined to support Chris Wilder and the team. Ian Faulkner

10:36pm Fri 5 Oct 12

CamView says...

I am Ian's friend. I just cannot keep travellng fom Cambridgeshie to watch such inept performancs. I get so anoyed by what I see I am shortening my life expectancy. I have a season ticket - but whats the point of gong week after week if you don't enjoy going. I have supported club for 53 years and have never felt this way before - The last 20 league matches hae expoed all Wilder's weaknesses. I hope Ian' faith rewards im but I dubt it. What Lenagan has done has put off the date of the manager's departure. The odd win will only prolong the agony. Things wll have to change and I will be back. I suspect there wil be more like me
I am Ian's friend. I just cannot keep travellng fom Cambridgeshie to watch such inept performancs. I get so anoyed by what I see I am shortening my life expectancy. I have a season ticket - but whats the point of gong week after week if you don't enjoy going. I have supported club for 53 years and have never felt this way before - The last 20 league matches hae expoed all Wilder's weaknesses. I hope Ian' faith rewards im but I dubt it. What Lenagan has done has put off the date of the manager's departure. The odd win will only prolong the agony. Things wll have to change and I will be back. I suspect there wil be more like me CamView

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