9:20am Friday 14th March 2014
By David Pritchard
IT IS a shame Mickey Lewis does not have the time to hold one-on-one sessions with nervous Oxford United supporters, because it would certainly help during the next few weeks.
There are plenty of reasons why the training ground should have been a tense place yesterday.
United go into the trip to the Sky Bet League Two leaders tomorrow on the back of their worst run of the season.
It has seen the cushion to the sides outside the play-off places, a vast chasm at 13 points this time last month, whittled down to just five.
Less than two days earlier a priceless win against Cheltenham Town was snatched away at the death by the cruellest of deflections.
It stretched a winless run to five games, which has led some to question whether Lewis, in the hotseat as caretaker for ten games, is the right choice to keep United’s promotion challenge on track.
But the man himself was as relentlessly upbeat as ever – an outlook which is highly contagious.
Lewis said: “There’s no point in looking back negatively because what does that achieve?”
“You’d be lying if you said there weren’t times where you get frustrated, but you keep them private.
“Everyone has their moments where you think ‘I can’t believe that happened’, especially the other night.
“But the good thing about football clubs is you have a lot of people around you.
“Not only do you pick them up, but they pick you up as well.
“ I’m not trying to put a brave face on it. I’ve always said people in football have a great job.
“Playing is the best part of it, there’s always a lot more stress coaching and managing, but it’s still something a lot of people would like to be doing.
“You have to take it by the scruff of the neck and do as best as you can.”
The pessimists among United’s support may only be convinced once they see results on the pitch.
Fair enough, says Lewis, who appreciates their concerns.
“I understand that because it’s different for us seeing the players every day,” he said.
“You see they are positive and you see them in training.
“I’d say to the supporters the players are working so hard and they’re so determined to do it that whatever happens it won’t be for the lack of trying. “The backing was really good the other night and keep supporting us.”
It all means the prospect of a visit to Chesterfield holds no concerns.
“There’s ten games to go and you can’t worry about what’s going to happen next week,” he said.
“You just have to be as positive as you can and what a great game to go and play in on Saturday.
“We’ve every chance of making the top-three.
“It’s obviously tougher now, but we’re still going for it.”
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