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Oxford United fate now out of their hands
OXFORD United’s League Two play-off aspirations are in the hands of others after they only drew 1-1 at struggling Plymouth on Saturday.
The U’s fell behind in the second minute and although they were the better side following Asa Hall’s spectacular equaliser, could not find a winner.
And with Crewe beating Cheltenham, United – who have not won for five matches – find themselves out of the top seven for the first time since January with just two games remaining.
Boss Chris Wilder remains upbeat, but knows his side have to turn their fortunes around quickly.
“Overall, we’ve played OK again, but we’re into the stage of the season where OK’s not really good enough,” Wilder said. “It’s always about winning games and we have to go and win two of them.”
The United boss was keen to stress all was not lost for the club’s play-off hopes, with Crewe facing a tough trip to fourth-placed Torquay this Saturday.
“The picture will change next week and the week after. We’ve just got to stick in there and dig in,” he said.
“It’s tough at the moment for the players, it’s not a great run we’ve been on.
“Yet again the performance has been there against a side on a decent run fighting for their lives – look at Plymouth’s celebrations at getting Football League status.
“We’re down – of course we are because we expect high standards and wins. But sometimes you have to take yourself out of it a bit as well.”
He added: “As always, you get judged on winning football matches and we just haven’t got that killer instinct in the final third at the moment .
“We should be putting teams to bed and getting the results that pretty much the majority of the performances deserve.”
While cutting edge in the final third is one area which requires attention, so is the side’s habit of conceding early goals.
Robbie Williams’ deflected free-kick inside 90 seconds was the third time in five games that the U’s had fallen behind in the opening three minutes.
Wilder said: “It’s another really poor goal to give away.
“We lost the ball in a poor area, instead of turning teams round we took a chance and obviously there was a big deflection off the wall to send Browny (Wayne Brown) the wrong way.”