CHRIS Wilder admitted Oxford United got what they deserved as a lack of invention proved costly in a goalless draw at home with York City.
The U’s struggled to create chances, as the dogged Minstermen defended well – but United have now not won at the Kassam Stadium since beating Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
Visiting goalkeeper Michael Ingham only had one noteworthy save to make, diving to his left to divert a Josh Parker shot round a post.
Wilder ultimately had few complaints over the final score.
He said: “We’ve not done enough going forward for the ability we’ve got to deserve to win the game.
“Their keeper didn’t have much to do and it’s pretty unlike us.
“It’s easy to see there’s a lack of confidence out there.
“These players were decent players when they went to Bradford and Exeter and won, it’s just a massive struggle for us at the moment.
“I think it’s a psychological problem, it’s not about ability, because I see it in training and I’ve seen it at times this season and when players have played for other clubs.
“They’re just lacking a touch of belief at the moment.”
The United boss believes the poor playing surface at the Kassam Stadium is the root of the confidence problem for the side’s flair players.
But with conditions unlikely to improve much this season, he said the onus is on the players to take responsibility.
“Players have to be braver, because in times like this it’s easy for one player to duck out of it, then two players duck out of it and the game becomes a real struggle,” he said.
“When players aren’t on the top of their game it’s more of a reaction than an anticipation.
“Possibly they’re not as vocal and not as willing to all get on the ball.
“That’s human nature when things aren’t going for you – possibly sometimes the easy way out is not to get involved.
“I said to the players afterwards that can’t happen, because it’s a strong league and if you do that you give too much of an advantage to the opposition.”
One positive from the game was United fielded the same XI which started the 1-0 win at Plymouth Argyle a week earlier.
It was the first time since August the line-up had shown no changes.
Wilder said: “People do have injuries, but to get almost to March and it’s only the second time you’ve named an unchanged side is incredible.”
It gets no easier for United, who play the division’s top two this week, starting with a trip to leaders Gillingham tomorrow night.
- ACCORDING to reports, Wilder could be on the short-list to be the new boss at Blue Square Bet Premier side Luton Town, who are looking for a manager after Paul Buckle resigned last week.