9:30am Monday 17th February 2014
By Mark Edwards
MICKEY Lewis said he just went with his instinct when picking his Oxford United team ahead of Saturday’s 3-0 success over Mansfield Town.
The caretaker boss selected four strikers in his starting line-up for the Sky Bet League Two clash – but the move paid handsome dividends as the U’s stretched their unbeaten run to eight games, five of which have been under his leadership.
It was a brave call from Lewis, but one that proved correct as goals from David Connolly, Nicky Wroe and Deane Smalley saw United stay third in the table.
Two early saves from United goalkeeper Ryan Clarke proved crucial, but ultimately the quality of the attacking players was the difference.
“I just felt that we really needed three points,” he said.
“I wanted my goalscorers out on the pitch, so we went out with the four forwards. I thought ‘let’s go for it’.
“We could have gone a goal down early on, but with those attacking players on the pitch you always feel you have a goal in you.”
He added: “We have been pleased with our results of late with some tough away games, although we were slightly disappointed we didn’t hold onto the lead at Bristol Rovers last week.
“We really wanted to win the game today and the victory makes those away draws even better results.”
The convincing victory strengthens Lewis’s claims for the manager’s position on a full-time basis, with bookmakers now making the former U’s midfielder the clear favourite to be appointed permanent boss.
But Lewis refused to talk about that possibility when asked – as he has done throughout his spell in charge.
“The next game is Newport on Tuesday night, and we will be prepare right for that one,” he said.
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