KARL Robinson was critical of the decision-making of Oxford United’s attacking players as they went down to a costly defeat at Gillingham.

Brandon Hanlan scored the only goal of a wind-affected game at Priestfield in the 89th minute.

And with all five teams who started the day below the U’s in the Sky Bet League One table winning, it saw them slide back into the relegation zone.

While the goal came from a lapse in concentration at a corner, the visitors also needed to look at their output in attacking areas.

They had a strong spell after Simon Eastwood saved Tom Eaves’s 51st-minute penalty, but managed just a single shot on Tomas Holy’s goal all afternoon.

Robinson said: “We almost want to score the perfect goal at the moment.

“In the first half Jamo (James Henry) with the wind 25 yards out – have a shot, see what he’s like. It baffled me.

“Yet we put it wide and crossed it with a 6ft 9in goalkeeper. That doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

“I think our decision-making in the final third wasn’t as good as it should have been.

“We spoke about their goalkeeper conceding all of his goals low down to his left and we got some of our players trying to put it high.

“Pass it in the corner. Why do you have to put it in the top corner? I thought we wasted chances.

“We’ve put ourselves in great positions to work the keeper and haven’t asked the question.

“That’s the players’ decision-making – only they can put it right.

“That’s not down to coaching, that’s their own talent and understanding of where they are in the game.”

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He added: “This is a game again where we’ve lost in both boxes.

“We’ve won in between them, comfortably, but we didn’t take our chances at one end and they took one at the other.”

Given the results elsewhere, even a draw would have seen the U’s finish the day in the bottom four.

But after back-to-back wins, it would have edged them closer to survival.

Robinson, who was critical of referee Ollie Yates’s performance, was keen to regroup quickly ahead of key clashes this week against Rochdale and Bradford City.

He said: “A draw would have taken us to 40 points and then you need four wins to get over the 50-mark.

“We haven’t done that and it’s not something we can focus on too much now because we’ve got two really big games coming up on Tuesday and Saturday.

“You can’t let that one silly error affect what’s been a good few weeks.

“Our performances aren’t a million miles away, we’ve just got to turn them into results.”