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Clarke backs Oxford United to stop the rot quickly
RYAN Clarke is confident Oxford United’s squad is in a much better position to snap out of a poor run than in previous seasons.
The U’s travel to Newport County tomorrow under some pressure for the first time this season after losing back-to-back home games in the space of four days.
Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Scunthorpe was the first time this season they had not bounced back from a setback to win their next game in Sky Bet League Two.
Extended slumps cost United dearly last season, with the worst run seeing them lose six league games in a row.
Clarke experienced those lows, but the goalkeeper has faith a more experienced squad has what it takes to find quick answers.
He said: “I don’t think it’s the type of group that would get into that rut where we go on a big run of games where we struggle to pick up points.
“Being positive I think we have a group that can turn things around quickly when we need to.
“It’s not been good enough in the last two games, but it’s down to us to turn it around, no-one else.”
He added: “We have a group of players that won’t let things affect us, which maybe it has done in previous seasons.
“We’ll just roll our sleeves up and get on with it.
“It’s another game and we just have to stick together.”
Victory over Newport would go a long way to making amends and could see the U’s return to the top three.
The two sides know each other well, as it is only just over a month since they played out a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium.
County executed a clear game plan to frustrate the U’s, breaking up the play at every opportunity.
Clarke fully expects a completely different approach tomorrow, given County’s strong home record.
He said: “They came here and you could say they played for a draw, that was their job done.
“They like to stop the game and take their time on things. I’m sure it will be a different story at home.
“It will be a tough game, we know they are a decent team and they’re up in the mix.”
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