Chris Wilder unimpressed as Oxford United miss chance to go top

Oxford Mail: Oxford United goalkeeper Ryan Clarke is flat on his back and other members of the U’s defence stand aghast as Plymouth go 3-1 ahead at the Kassam Stadium yesterday Oxford United goalkeeper Ryan Clarke is flat on his back and other members of the U’s defence stand aghast as Plymouth go 3-1 ahead at the Kassam Stadium yesterday

CHRIS Wilder bemoaned a missed chance for Oxford United to go back to the top of the table as they were beaten 3-2 at home by Plymouth Argyle.

After a flat first half, Plymouth went ahead through Caolan Lavery less than 30 seconds after the restart.

Asa Hall equalised, but the U’s could not build on the breakthrough and instead conceded twice in quick succession to Reuben Reid, before a late own goal from Neal Trotman briefly gave the 10,000-strong crowd hope.

United came off the pitch to find several of their rivals at the top had also dropped points, meaning victory would have sent them back to the summit.

Oxford Mail:

  • Asa Hall (No 14) is congratulated after equalising

Manager Wilder rued the result and admitted after getting back on level terms he felt there was only going to be one outcome.

He said: “We can’t blame anybody apart from ourselves.

“We’ve missed a good opportunity there to go top and put a little bit of daylight, but we haven’t taken it.

“There will be days when we take it, and there will be more of those than days like today.”

He added: “With half an hour to go I truly believed there was only going to be one winner.

“But (the second) was a disappointing goal to give away and with the third one, we were chasing to try and get ourselves back in the game.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Ryan Clarke is sent the wrong way as Reuben Reid scores from the penalty spot

The key moment came ten minutes from time, when Dave Kitson handled a cross in the area.

The forward also went on to pick up a tenth booking of the season, triggering a two-game ban which will rule him out of Sunday’s home game with Scunthorpe and the trip to Newport County on New Year’s Day.

Jake Wright had no complaints about the spot-kick decision.

The United captain said: “It was a penalty, but it’s a rubbish one from our point of view.

“We had just got back on top of the game after equalising and were looking good.

“Then Kits was pushed in the back a little bit and put his hand in the air.

‘It’s a penalty we shouldn’t give away and that’s why it’s disappointing for us.”

Oxford Mail:

The result was doubly disappointing given it came in front of United’s biggest attendance for almost two years.

Johnny Mullins said: “On Boxing Day, especially with the crowd, we wanted to come and put a good performance in and win.

“I think the second half particularly, I know we scored two goals, but it wasn’t good enough.

“It felt like we were always playing catch-up from the start of the second half.

“We can’t start a second half like that, in any game at any level – you are going to get punished.”

Comments (10)

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9:50am Fri 27 Dec 13

oldun says...

If we go up - and for what my tiny opinion I is worth, I believe that we will do so -

then we will need to make five good signings if we are to avoid an immediate return to the 4th division.
We have too few players who can perform well in the 3rd division
Top 3 in this mediocre division - and staying there ,
If we go up - and for what my tiny opinion I is worth, I believe that we will do so - then we will need to make five good signings if we are to avoid an immediate return to the 4th division. We have too few players who can perform well in the 3rd division Top 3 in this mediocre division - and staying there , oldun

10:43am Fri 27 Dec 13

dave from witney says...

oldun wrote:
If we go up - and for what my tiny opinion I is worth, I believe that we will do so -

then we will need to make five good signings if we are to avoid an immediate return to the 4th division.
We have too few players who can perform well in the 3rd division
Top 3 in this mediocre division - and staying there ,
The alternative, but probably most unlikely. Is to invest in a new manager. I don't agree that we only have a few decent players, to me the manager fails time and time again to get them playing to their ability. Holloway resigned at Palace as he said he could no longer inspire the players, Pullis goes in there and the team who everyone assumed were pretty duff, are playing their hearts out. Same has happened at Scunthorpe. I know very few chairmen would sack a manger in second place, but clearly Wilder has not got it. We are where we are wholly due to many mediocre teams in the division.

I don't expect many will agree, but after so many dreadful home performances it has to said.
[quote][p][bold]oldun[/bold] wrote: If we go up - and for what my tiny opinion I is worth, I believe that we will do so - then we will need to make five good signings if we are to avoid an immediate return to the 4th division. We have too few players who can perform well in the 3rd division Top 3 in this mediocre division - and staying there ,[/p][/quote]The alternative, but probably most unlikely. Is to invest in a new manager. I don't agree that we only have a few decent players, to me the manager fails time and time again to get them playing to their ability. Holloway resigned at Palace as he said he could no longer inspire the players, Pullis goes in there and the team who everyone assumed were pretty duff, are playing their hearts out. Same has happened at Scunthorpe. I know very few chairmen would sack a manger in second place, but clearly Wilder has not got it. We are where we are wholly due to many mediocre teams in the division. I don't expect many will agree, but after so many dreadful home performances it has to said. dave from witney

12:59pm Fri 27 Dec 13

onthebench says...

I like Dave Kitson - I really do. He is a class above the vast majority of players in Division 2. However, did anyone else get the distinct impression that he didn't want to be playing over Christmas? He "usually" gets his bookings right so that he misses the Christmas period. He must have thought he had done so again, but the club got the sums wrong and he played against Plymouth. He then tried and tried again to get himself booked throughout the whole game. The referree was very lenient with him but eventually gave him what he wanted towards the end of the game. As I said at the beginning, I really like Kitson, but yesterday was a shocking display. Please make up for it for the rest of the season!!! Finally, I feel there are now two ways the season can go. Stick with what we have and play a game of chance with the rest of the season in which case we could end up first or also easily outside of the play-off places. Otherwise, gamble on bringing in the two extra class players that we desperately need to push us on. It appears obvious to me that we lack real class in midfield - a Peter Levin type player (without the injuries!) is the most pressing need.
I like Dave Kitson - I really do. He is a class above the vast majority of players in Division 2. However, did anyone else get the distinct impression that he didn't want to be playing over Christmas? He "usually" gets his bookings right so that he misses the Christmas period. He must have thought he had done so again, but the club got the sums wrong and he played against Plymouth. He then tried and tried again to get himself booked throughout the whole game. The referree was very lenient with him but eventually gave him what he wanted towards the end of the game. As I said at the beginning, I really like Kitson, but yesterday was a shocking display. Please make up for it for the rest of the season!!! Finally, I feel there are now two ways the season can go. Stick with what we have and play a game of chance with the rest of the season in which case we could end up first or also easily outside of the play-off places. Otherwise, gamble on bringing in the two extra class players that we desperately need to push us on. It appears obvious to me that we lack real class in midfield - a Peter Levin type player (without the injuries!) is the most pressing need. onthebench

1:13pm Fri 27 Dec 13

karatavuk says...

Kitson played like a big girl waving his arms in the air every time he was challenged.
In the end that cost us the match. Why can't he play against the opponent instead of playing the referee all the time?

He is a good player but his attitude stinks.
Kitson played like a big girl waving his arms in the air every time he was challenged. In the end that cost us the match. Why can't he play against the opponent instead of playing the referee all the time? He is a good player but his attitude stinks. karatavuk

1:31pm Fri 27 Dec 13

dorsetyellows says...

onthebench wrote:
I like Dave Kitson - I really do. He is a class above the vast majority of players in Division 2. However, did anyone else get the distinct impression that he didn't want to be playing over Christmas? He "usually" gets his bookings right so that he misses the Christmas period. He must have thought he had done so again, but the club got the sums wrong and he played against Plymouth. He then tried and tried again to get himself booked throughout the whole game. The referree was very lenient with him but eventually gave him what he wanted towards the end of the game. As I said at the beginning, I really like Kitson, but yesterday was a shocking display. Please make up for it for the rest of the season!!! Finally, I feel there are now two ways the season can go. Stick with what we have and play a game of chance with the rest of the season in which case we could end up first or also easily outside of the play-off places. Otherwise, gamble on bringing in the two extra class players that we desperately need to push us on. It appears obvious to me that we lack real class in midfield - a Peter Levin type player (without the injuries!) is the most pressing need.
Totally agree with you on both points , I hope that kitson is given a roasting by wilder , sure the ref didn't give him much , but by his actions didn't help , draws attention to himself, constant moaning and other oxford players get involved and lose their focus, the best way is to keep playing your football .
Hope he gets off the coach in Newport at least to show support for the team, if not I will personally complain to the club .
As for the midfield , the engine room of the team needs a top player, example a Danny Hollands type midfielder not just a play maker but a real work horse.
The club cannot just rely on the youth coming through , if it wants league one football next season .
[quote][p][bold]onthebench[/bold] wrote: I like Dave Kitson - I really do. He is a class above the vast majority of players in Division 2. However, did anyone else get the distinct impression that he didn't want to be playing over Christmas? He "usually" gets his bookings right so that he misses the Christmas period. He must have thought he had done so again, but the club got the sums wrong and he played against Plymouth. He then tried and tried again to get himself booked throughout the whole game. The referree was very lenient with him but eventually gave him what he wanted towards the end of the game. As I said at the beginning, I really like Kitson, but yesterday was a shocking display. Please make up for it for the rest of the season!!! Finally, I feel there are now two ways the season can go. Stick with what we have and play a game of chance with the rest of the season in which case we could end up first or also easily outside of the play-off places. Otherwise, gamble on bringing in the two extra class players that we desperately need to push us on. It appears obvious to me that we lack real class in midfield - a Peter Levin type player (without the injuries!) is the most pressing need.[/p][/quote]Totally agree with you on both points , I hope that kitson is given a roasting by wilder , sure the ref didn't give him much , but by his actions didn't help , draws attention to himself, constant moaning and other oxford players get involved and lose their focus, the best way is to keep playing your football . Hope he gets off the coach in Newport at least to show support for the team, if not I will personally complain to the club . As for the midfield , the engine room of the team needs a top player, example a Danny Hollands type midfielder not just a play maker but a real work horse. The club cannot just rely on the youth coming through , if it wants league one football next season . dorsetyellows

2:12pm Fri 27 Dec 13

adlibber says...

By strange coincidence I'm unimpressed with Wilder being unimpressed as it is he that picks the team and it is he that should have the nous to change things on the field when they are not working.
By strange coincidence I'm unimpressed with Wilder being unimpressed as it is he that picks the team and it is he that should have the nous to change things on the field when they are not working. adlibber

6:16pm Fri 27 Dec 13

smgpa03 says...

Like or not, what we have now will see us through to the end of the season - Manager and players. A couple of additions - in midfield - might help, but I still reckon the players we have will get us promoted. And, I might be in the minority in saying it, but I like Chris Wilder. He has his short-comings, which is why he is managing us and not a Championship team !, but he really cares about the club. Most managers do their role as a job but Wilder is more than that and from a fans perspective, I want the Manager and the players to care and be passionate. And we have it. That said, there is an issue in performing at home and in particular, being more positive. My own solution is, rather than an influx of new players, let's have the addition of an attacking coach.
Like or not, what we have now will see us through to the end of the season - Manager and players. A couple of additions - in midfield - might help, but I still reckon the players we have will get us promoted. And, I might be in the minority in saying it, but I like Chris Wilder. He has his short-comings, which is why he is managing us and not a Championship team !, but he really cares about the club. Most managers do their role as a job but Wilder is more than that and from a fans perspective, I want the Manager and the players to care and be passionate. And we have it. That said, there is an issue in performing at home and in particular, being more positive. My own solution is, rather than an influx of new players, let's have the addition of an attacking coach. smgpa03

6:34pm Fri 27 Dec 13

oldun says...

smgpa03 wrote:
Like or not, what we have now will see us through to the end of the season - Manager and players. A couple of additions - in midfield - might help, but I still reckon the players we have will get us promoted. And, I might be in the minority in saying it, but I like Chris Wilder. He has his short-comings, which is why he is managing us and not a Championship team !, but he really cares about the club. Most managers do their role as a job but Wilder is more than that and from a fans perspective, I want the Manager and the players to care and be passionate. And we have it. That said, there is an issue in performing at home and in particular, being more positive. My own solution is, rather than an influx of new players, let's have the addition of an attacking coach.
I like Chris - but for me,
he must take us up in 2014.

Yes, I still believe that we will stay in the top three -

but we won't do so if we often play as badly as yesterday.
[quote][p][bold]smgpa03[/bold] wrote: Like or not, what we have now will see us through to the end of the season - Manager and players. A couple of additions - in midfield - might help, but I still reckon the players we have will get us promoted. And, I might be in the minority in saying it, but I like Chris Wilder. He has his short-comings, which is why he is managing us and not a Championship team !, but he really cares about the club. Most managers do their role as a job but Wilder is more than that and from a fans perspective, I want the Manager and the players to care and be passionate. And we have it. That said, there is an issue in performing at home and in particular, being more positive. My own solution is, rather than an influx of new players, let's have the addition of an attacking coach.[/p][/quote]I like Chris - but for me, he must take us up in 2014. Yes, I still believe that we will stay in the top three - but we won't do so if we often play as badly as yesterday. oldun

4:32pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Davos P says...

Massive game tomorrow. Let's get behind the players and the Manager tomorrow and show why kind of fans we are. I've got a chest infection but I'll still sing my voice hoarse. If we get 3 points the fans have a huge part to play. COYY
Massive game tomorrow. Let's get behind the players and the Manager tomorrow and show why kind of fans we are. I've got a chest infection but I'll still sing my voice hoarse. If we get 3 points the fans have a huge part to play. COYY Davos P

4:38pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Richard Wickson says...

dave from witney wrote:
oldun wrote:
If we go up - and for what my tiny opinion I is worth, I believe that we will do so -

then we will need to make five good signings if we are to avoid an immediate return to the 4th division.
We have too few players who can perform well in the 3rd division
Top 3 in this mediocre division - and staying there ,
The alternative, but probably most unlikely. Is to invest in a new manager. I don't agree that we only have a few decent players, to me the manager fails time and time again to get them playing to their ability. Holloway resigned at Palace as he said he could no longer inspire the players, Pullis goes in there and the team who everyone assumed were pretty duff, are playing their hearts out. Same has happened at Scunthorpe. I know very few chairmen would sack a manger in second place, but clearly Wilder has not got it. We are where we are wholly due to many mediocre teams in the division.

I don't expect many will agree, but after so many dreadful home performances it has to said.
I wholeheartedly agree with you Dave and also agree with what Dorsetyellow had to say about Kitson and his suspension, sadly I can't see him travelling with the team to Newport or being there for the Scunthorpe game either. The players do need motivating, they seem nervous at home whereas away they look more confident and more organised, it makes me ask the question, are both the manager and players happier playing in front of smaller away crowds than a decent sized home crowd. Away we seem to have a Plant B, at home we only have Plan A and opposing teams find it easy to dismantle it, Plymouth weren't particularly good but were better than we were, we start far too slowly particularly in the second half. We do have some decent players but they don't all seem to play well at the same time, they shouldn't need motivating to gain promotion but sadly they do, that's why they are in Division 4. Finally to all connected with the club and all fans, regular attendees or not, a very Happy 2014 and let's hope it's a season that ends in Promotion automatically.
[quote][p][bold]dave from witney[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]oldun[/bold] wrote: If we go up - and for what my tiny opinion I is worth, I believe that we will do so - then we will need to make five good signings if we are to avoid an immediate return to the 4th division. We have too few players who can perform well in the 3rd division Top 3 in this mediocre division - and staying there ,[/p][/quote]The alternative, but probably most unlikely. Is to invest in a new manager. I don't agree that we only have a few decent players, to me the manager fails time and time again to get them playing to their ability. Holloway resigned at Palace as he said he could no longer inspire the players, Pullis goes in there and the team who everyone assumed were pretty duff, are playing their hearts out. Same has happened at Scunthorpe. I know very few chairmen would sack a manger in second place, but clearly Wilder has not got it. We are where we are wholly due to many mediocre teams in the division. I don't expect many will agree, but after so many dreadful home performances it has to said.[/p][/quote]I wholeheartedly agree with you Dave and also agree with what Dorsetyellow had to say about Kitson and his suspension, sadly I can't see him travelling with the team to Newport or being there for the Scunthorpe game either. The players do need motivating, they seem nervous at home whereas away they look more confident and more organised, it makes me ask the question, are both the manager and players happier playing in front of smaller away crowds than a decent sized home crowd. Away we seem to have a Plant B, at home we only have Plan A and opposing teams find it easy to dismantle it, Plymouth weren't particularly good but were better than we were, we start far too slowly particularly in the second half. We do have some decent players but they don't all seem to play well at the same time, they shouldn't need motivating to gain promotion but sadly they do, that's why they are in Division 4. Finally to all connected with the club and all fans, regular attendees or not, a very Happy 2014 and let's hope it's a season that ends in Promotion automatically. Richard Wickson

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