9:10am Thursday 5th April 2012
Chris Wilder has called on Oxford United to prove the setback against Morecambe was a one-off by producing two big performances over the Easter weekend.
The U’s visit a Northampton Town side not safe from relegation on Friday night, before hosting promotion rivals Torquay United on Monday.
Wilder demands a big improvement in quality from last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to the Shrimps, which the United boss described as the side’s worst performance of the season.
He said: “It really did surprise me, because we got into the position where we are through consistency in performance and attitude.
“Fingers crossed, Saturday was just a blip, because we can’t afford any more of those.”
He added: “We have a big game at Northampton on Friday, plus another big game here on the Monday and it’s up to us and myself to turn it around and put it right.
“It gives me comfort we will do, because we’ve always shown a decent reaction – we have to do that.”
United do have a solid record this season in bouncing back from defeats.
The only time they have lost successive games was in a barren run in November and the most recent loss – at Bradford City last month – was followed up by a win against Rotherham United.
Jake Wright felt a frank exchange in the changing room after the Morecambe defeat would help the squad put the result behind them, and the United skipper wants to get the promotion campaign back on track straight away.
He said: “We have to be open-minded about it all. We had a go at each other in there and stuff got said, but we move on now.
“That has gone now, we have to forget about it and make sure we train well and get six points over the weekend.”
Despite the gloom which surrounded Saturday’s display, Wilder stressed most sides in npower League Two still envied their position in the top six.
He said: “There are still big things to play for. We’re not in the position of other clubs who have nothing to play for or are fighting relegation, or the clubs that are chasing us.
“We’re still in an OK position, but the players need to know every aspect of last Saturday’s game is certainly not what I desire from my team.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group