10:10am Monday 2nd September 2013
By David Pritchard
RYAN Clarke was bitterly disappointed Oxford United were unable to take maximum points from their home clash with Rochdale.
The goalkeeper was relatively untroubled in a first half where James Constable put the hosts in front.
But Clarke was powerless to stop Matthew Lund’s close range header five minutes after the break.
The 31-year-old stressed anything other than a victory at home was viewed as a setback, despite stretching their unbeaten run.
He said: “We’ve drawn and I think it’s a good thing we’re disappointed.
“We’re five games unbeaten and obviously we always look to win our home games, but this was tough. “They were right on it and perhaps we weren’t.
“It’s a point and we move on, but we’re all disappointed because we expect to be winning these games.
“We felt as a group we had chances in the first half to kill the game off. We know there are goals in the team, but it wasn’t to be.”
As expected, Rochdale retained possession better than most visiting teams to the Kassam Stadium.
But while their patient style agitated some home fans, Clarke thought with the exception of Lund’s goal United’s defence did a good job.
He said: “I don’t think a lot of teams will come here and do that to us.
“That’s their style of play, they all like to get on the ball, but they didn’t break us down.
“It might have looked good from the sideline, but they didn’t have too many attempts on goal that I had to deal with.
“They put a load of balls in the box, but we defended most of it quite well, apart from possibly the goal. “That’s down to us as a group.”
Despite the draw, Clarke reflected on a month which has put United among the division’s pacesetters.
“We will dust ourselves down, come in on Monday, train hard and go to the next game positive on the back of five games undefeated,” he said.
“We’re still up in the mix, which is where we want to be.”
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