MICHAEL Appleton backed Jon Meades to learn from his mistake after the midfielder was sent off as Oxford United were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy 2-0 at Cheltenham Town last night.
And to cap a miserable night for the U’s, substitute Danny Rose limped off late on with a hamstring injury.
United fell behind when they switched off on the stroke of half-time, allowing John Marquis to head the home side in front.
The odds of the visitors getting back on level terms lengthened considerably midway through the second half, when Meades received a straight red card from referee Brendan Malone.
Appleton reviewed the footage of the tackle on Jason Taylor after the game and disputed the decision, which he felt was influenced by the way Cheltenham responded.
“Obviously the reaction of their players didn’t help, but I think some of us probably need to learn from that because I genuinely think it affected the decision,” he said.
“It was a foul, but was it a red card? I don’t think so.
“He will learn, he’s a midfield player and having watched it back again I made plenty of those tackles and got away with it in my time.
“I think because he slipped on the follow through it looked a lot worse than it was really.
“Jon will be fine, he will serve his punishment and come back stronger from it.”
Skipper Jake Wright felt the sending off did not end United’s hopes of taking something from the game.
Wright: “I still think we had chances to get back in the game.
“I was fouled for their second goal, I was being pushed in the back.
“But we’re not here to make excuses, they beat us 2-0 and we weren’t good enough on the night”
Koby Arthur made the game safe when he doubled the lead 12 minutes from time.
The defeat leaves United with just one win from seven games in all competitions, but Appleton felt there was little wrong with the visitors at Whaddon Road.
He said: “It boils down to switching off 20 seconds before half-time and when it does go down to ten men it can be a bit of a worry at times.
“Sometimes you end up chasing the game and it can punish you, but we accept what it is and move on.”
He added: “You’ve got to really dig deep from the pit of your stomach when you’re on a poor run.
“I said to the players ‘you don’t look like a side that lacks confidence’.
“I enjoy watching us play, again we’ve created loads of opportunities, especially in the first half.”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest United news:
11:15pm Tuesday 6th October 2015
9:42pm Tuesday 6th October 2015
KEMAR Roofe etched his name into derby folklore with two goals as Oxford United stretched their winning run against Swindon Town to five matches.
11:00am Tuesday 6th October 2015
MICHAEL Appleton is looking forward to his first experience of an Oxford-Swindon clash, but has made it clear the priority is on ensuring it is a fixture in Sky Bet League One next season.
9:30am Tuesday 6th October 2015
KEEPING a cool head will be key if Oxford United are going to beat fierce rivals Swindon Town tonight, according to skipper Jake Wright.
9:20am Tuesday 6th October 2015
CALLUM O’Dowda cannot wait for his first taste of a game against Swindon Town after getting permission to delay his trip to meet up with the Ireland Under 21 squad.