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Wilder wants Oxford United to stick with plan of attack
CHRIS Wilder has no intention of changing his attacking philosophy at Oxford United despite admitting they were “mugged” by Rochdale on Tuesday.
The U’s enjoyed the best of the opening 75 minutes at Spotland, but were unable to find a breakthrough.
As the game entered the final stages, the visitors continued to press for a winner and were twice caught out on the counter-attack as Rochdale claimed a 2-0 victory.
United have won as many league games this season as eighth-placed Torquay United, but an inability to take a point from their other games sees Wilder’s side languising ten places below.
Last season, the team’s large number of draws was a source of criticism, but this term they have had just one stalemate – the lowest number in the division.
Wilder was disappointed the U’s could not convert their chances against Rochdale, but had no problems with the intent.
He said: “We went for a win and got mugged a little bit.
“If you’re under siege you have to say ‘a point here is a decent point’ if we’re not at our best.
“But when you’re on top and looking for a win I can’t be too critical or put the reins on the players to say ‘no’.
“They were in the fight and they know they just needed to land a knockout punch.
“We couldn’t land it, stuck our chin out and got hit by a sucker punch.
“When we’re on top I don’t ever want us to shut up shop.
“If we’re getting battered you look at it, but they weren’t on Tuesday, so I’ve got no problem with us trying to win the game.”
And the United manager believes the attitude is even more important given where the team are in the division.
He said: “With the position we’re in, we’ve gone for a win – that’s the name of the game.
“We went for it and got punished, but I’d much rather the players were positive and go for a win than just feebly seeing out the game.
“There’s no way we will change our philosophy, we haven’t in my time here and we won’t change it on Saturday.
“We will go to Wycombe looking to put them on the back foot and win the game.”
After clashing with some of the division’s leading sides in the last month, tomorrow’s trip to Wycombe marks the start of a run of league fixtures against teams in the bottom half.
Wilder views it as a vital opportunity to cash in and claw back some ground.
He said: “We have the capability of going anywhere and winning.
“I’m certain we’ll be in the mix, but we have to keep picking up points through this period, when we’re playing teams in and around us.
“While the race finishes in May, this is a crucial time for us.”