Wilder sticks to his guns

Oxford Mail: Centre back Michael Raynes (right) was preferred over Johnny Mullins (left) by Oxford United manager Chris Wilder against Dagenham & Redbridge Centre back Michael Raynes (right) was preferred over Johnny Mullins (left) by Oxford United manager Chris Wilder against Dagenham & Redbridge

Chris Wilder stressed the importance of continuity in defending his team selection following Oxford United’s midweek defeat.

There was some surprise over the decision to play Michael Raynes ahead of Johnny Mullins at centre half against Dagenham & Redbridge, who ran out 3-2 winners in npower League Two at the Kassam Stadium.

Wilder was hugely disappointed with the goals they conceded, saying: “We looked dodgy all night at the back.”

Raynes had an uncomfortable game, although he was certainly not the only one in a yellow shirt to disappoint.

He returned to the side last Saturday, replacing the imp-ressive Mullins, who was ineligible to play in the FA Cup as part of his loan deal.

United went on to win 2-0 at Barnet, with the back four looking solid all afternoon.

Wilder hinted changes could be made for this weekend’s game against Torquay United, but felt for Dagenham he had to keep faith with those who had performed at Underhill.

The U’s boss said: “I don’t think anybody deserved to be left out after the performance at Barnet, but I’ll watch this game through a couple of times because I’ve got to pick the right side for Saturday.

“As always when you win you deserve to keep the same team, I need to show a bit of continuity and consistency.”

It is the second time in a fortnight United have lost while arguably not fielding their strongest available back four.

Last month Jake Wright served a suspension, with Raynes and Mullins combining well in a 5-0 win against Accrington Stanley.

As a result, the skipper was only named on the bench for the following game, which was lost 2-0 at Rochdale.

Wright, who had no complaints about having to wait for his chance, agrees with the policy.

He said: “We had a good result and everyone played well against Barnet.

“It’s difficult for the gaffer – if someone comes in, plays well and then gets dropped what are they supposed to do?”

Comments (12)

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11:05am Thu 8 Nov 12

GRB says...

Raynes played against Accrington and Barnet and we kept clean sheets in those games. One fact that needs to be mentioned though was both Accy and Barnet were woeful and on both days the defence had very easy games.

As soon as come up against teams who can attack, when Raynes is playing we concede goals left, right and centre. Since Mullins has joined and played at centre back he's looked a class act and it's a 'no-brainer' that he should play instead of Raynes! If Wilder thinks otherwise then I despair! I agree about not changing a winning side but I also think you should play your best side available and on Tuesday Mullins should have played. Absolutely no question about it.
Raynes played against Accrington and Barnet and we kept clean sheets in those games. One fact that needs to be mentioned though was both Accy and Barnet were woeful and on both days the defence had very easy games. As soon as come up against teams who can attack, when Raynes is playing we concede goals left, right and centre. Since Mullins has joined and played at centre back he's looked a class act and it's a 'no-brainer' that he should play instead of Raynes! If Wilder thinks otherwise then I despair! I agree about not changing a winning side but I also think you should play your best side available and on Tuesday Mullins should have played. Absolutely no question about it. GRB

11:13am Thu 8 Nov 12

Manor Born says...

Fair play to CW for wanting to keep faith with a winning side, but you should always play the strongest team available no matter what.

GRB is spot on when he said the defence had easy games against Accrington & Barnet. Both teams offered little or no attacking threat and it wouldn't be unfair to say that my two grandmothers would have kept a clean sheet against them - and they have been dead for over 15 years.

The team should not be compromised for some misguided loyalty in a player who has consistently shown to be a weak link against teams who display even a merest modicum of attacking intent.
Fair play to CW for wanting to keep faith with a winning side, but you should always play the strongest team available no matter what. GRB is spot on when he said the defence had easy games against Accrington & Barnet. Both teams offered little or no attacking threat and it wouldn't be unfair to say that my two grandmothers would have kept a clean sheet against them - and they have been dead for over 15 years. The team should not be compromised for some misguided loyalty in a player who has consistently shown to be a weak link against teams who display even a merest modicum of attacking intent. Manor Born

11:16am Thu 8 Nov 12

Bigmanmo says...

It's relatively simple really. You pick your best eleven as a priority, second to that you look at consistency, not necessarily just with individual players but also tactics. Loyalty is great but not when it is misguided. Raynes isn't actually a bad player and can't be blamed for everything but as much as I want to stick behind and support Wilder he keeps getting it wrong, team selection and tactics that is and it's costing us dearly and it won't be many weeks before it has cost us a stab a promotion. He either needs to start listening to good advice (which I'm sure he's getting) or move on.
It's relatively simple really. You pick your best eleven as a priority, second to that you look at consistency, not necessarily just with individual players but also tactics. Loyalty is great but not when it is misguided. Raynes isn't actually a bad player and can't be blamed for everything but as much as I want to stick behind and support Wilder he keeps getting it wrong, team selection and tactics that is and it's costing us dearly and it won't be many weeks before it has cost us a stab a promotion. He either needs to start listening to good advice (which I'm sure he's getting) or move on. Bigmanmo

12:27pm Thu 8 Nov 12

onthebench says...

The main concern has to be that Mullins is the best defender at the club by some distance. He has played very well for us, so well that Rotherham are very likely to want him back! Raynes has rightly come in for ctiticism, but Wright has not been his old self this season. Without Dubes beside him he looks a shadow of the player he was. With JFCaskey likely to go back to the Seagulls, we should also send Cox back to (I can't bear to say it! Also his position is where Whing is at his best, so when Batts is back.....),send the lad from Arsenal back and put everything into getting Mullins here if at all possible. If we cannot defend balls being pumped into our box, we will end up mid table at best. Mullins really would be the difference in my opinion. There were numerous balls just lumped into our penalty area on Tuesday which saw completely unchallenged headers by the Dagenham players. Mullins would not have allowed that! ....... Dear Santa, please get us Mullins for Christmas please!
The main concern has to be that Mullins is the best defender at the club by some distance. He has played very well for us, so well that Rotherham are very likely to want him back! Raynes has rightly come in for ctiticism, but Wright has not been his old self this season. Without Dubes beside him he looks a shadow of the player he was. With JFCaskey likely to go back to the Seagulls, we should also send Cox back to (I can't bear to say it! Also his position is where Whing is at his best, so when Batts is back.....),send the lad from Arsenal back and put everything into getting Mullins here if at all possible. If we cannot defend balls being pumped into our box, we will end up mid table at best. Mullins really would be the difference in my opinion. There were numerous balls just lumped into our penalty area on Tuesday which saw completely unchallenged headers by the Dagenham players. Mullins would not have allowed that! ....... Dear Santa, please get us Mullins for Christmas please! onthebench

1:01pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Bigmanmo says...

We miss Dubes, Wright is finding it diffcult to adjust without him and the combination with Mullins has looked the most effective so far so why change it?

We need Whing back in midfield but I've always had doubts about Batts defensive capabilities as so many of our goals conceded come down that side either because he's out of position or palyers ghost straight past him. We've started to score goals which is great but we need to shore up the defence asap
We miss Dubes, Wright is finding it diffcult to adjust without him and the combination with Mullins has looked the most effective so far so why change it? We need Whing back in midfield but I've always had doubts about Batts defensive capabilities as so many of our goals conceded come down that side either because he's out of position or palyers ghost straight past him. We've started to score goals which is great but we need to shore up the defence asap Bigmanmo

1:07pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Brenda Jackson says...

CW wants 'Continuity' which is fair enough, but you don't get that by not picking your best players available, yes he made the call between raines and Mullins- and got it wrong!
Not for the first time.
As it stands we're heading for a mid-table
finish, which, if we can believe the owners- who say they have budgetted for an automatic promotion place, so mid-table is simply nowhere near good enough. Now it's the Owners call re: CW -do they stick with him and hope he comes good, or take the view that a major turnaround in results is looking increasingly doubtful?
CW wants 'Continuity' which is fair enough, but you don't get that by not picking your best players available, yes he made the call between raines and Mullins- and got it wrong! Not for the first time. As it stands we're heading for a mid-table finish, which, if we can believe the owners- who say they have budgetted for an automatic promotion place, so mid-table is simply nowhere near good enough. Now it's the Owners call re: CW -do they stick with him and hope he comes good, or take the view that a major turnaround in results is looking increasingly doubtful? Brenda Jackson

4:03pm Thu 8 Nov 12

OxRoxBox says...

BJ you have the voice of reason! I completely concur
BJ you have the voice of reason! I completely concur OxRoxBox

4:11pm Thu 8 Nov 12

GRB says...

I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.
I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum. GRB

4:19pm Thu 8 Nov 12

oldun says...

GRB wrote:
I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.
Shhh - the other fella might spoil that view
[quote][p][bold]GRB[/bold] wrote: I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.[/p][/quote]Shhh - the other fella might spoil that view oldun

4:19pm Thu 8 Nov 12

oldun says...

GRB wrote:
I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.
Shhh - the other fella might spoil that view
[quote][p][bold]GRB[/bold] wrote: I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.[/p][/quote]Shhh - the other fella might spoil that view oldun

4:19pm Thu 8 Nov 12

oldun says...

GRB wrote:
I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.
Shhh - the other fella might spoil that view
[quote][p][bold]GRB[/bold] wrote: I like how on these article comment threads you seem to get far more sensible debates than you'd ever get on somewhere like Yellows Forum.[/p][/quote]Shhh - the other fella might spoil that view oldun

4:20pm Thu 8 Nov 12

oldun says...

OK OK OK - done it again. Durr
OK OK OK - done it again. Durr oldun

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