Oxford MailRock bottom: That's Oxford United (From Oxford Mail)

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Rock bottom: That's Oxford United

Oxford Mail: Ryan Clarke says the U’s dismal finish to the season has been one of the worst times in his career Ryan Clarke says the U’s dismal finish to the season has been one of the worst times in his career

Ryan Clarke believes Oxford United could have been in a relegation dogfight had it not been for their strong start to the season.

The campaign has disintegrated spectacularly over the past two months, with the side tumbling from the automatic promotion places and crashing to the foot of the Sky Bet League Two form table.

United had been in the top seven of the table proper all season until earlier this month and Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Accrington Stanley dropped them to eighth, confirming they would miss out on the play-offs.

The goalkeeper admits it could have been far worse without the good first half to the campaign and thinks it is more painful than when United collapsed to throw away a top-seven place two seasons ago.

He said: “Probably yes, because of the position we were in, being so far into the play-offs.

“At the same time, it’s probably a good job we got all those points on the board because we’d have probably been in a relegation fight with the form we’re in.

“It’s probably been my worst day (Saturday) in football so far – that it’s come to this after looking at the position we were in.”

The comments are backed up by the results across the division during United’s slump.

Results were relatively consistent until their ten-month unbeaten away record in the division was ended by a 3-2 defeat at Newport County on Febuary 18.

After losing just five of their first 31 games, the setback at Rodney Parade was the first of ten defeats in the last 14 outings.

The table shows the fortunes of all League Two sides since that night, with the U’s four points adrift at the bottom.

Clarke, who turns 32 tomorrow, is one of the few players who can be confident they are part of head coach Gary Waddock’s plans for next season.

He has been excellent during the side’s slump and signed a new three-year deal in January.

Despite his individual form, United’s No 1 thinks the run has been down to falling short collectively.

He said: “We’ve all had our opinions in the changing room and I think we’ve all taken a backwards step.

“Maybe that is to do with a little bit of confidence because we’re in a bad run, that’s only natural.

“But at the same time I think we’ve got enough experience to grind out results, like we were in the first half of the season.”

The table of results since February 18

Played Won Drawn Lost For Agnst Points
York 13 9 4 0 12 2 31
Rochdale 15 8 4 3 20 11 28
Bury 17 6 8 3 27 16 26
Scunthorpe 14 6 7 1 21 12 25
Northampton 15 6 6 3 16 14 24
Fleetwood 15 6 6 3 17 16 24
Chesterfield 14 6 5 3 18 11 23
Southend 15 5 7 3 17 11 22
Mansfield 14 6 4 4 16 15 22
Portsmouth 14 6 4 4 18 20 22
Accrington 16 5 6 5 17 13 21
Burton 15 5 6 4 13 12 21
Plymouth 15 6 2 7 21 20 20
Cheltenham 15 5 4 6 16 20 19
Wimbledon 14 4 6 4 15 17 18
Dag & Red 14 4 5 5 12 18 17
Torquay 15 5 1 9 12 17 16
Wycombe 15 4 4 7 10 15 16
Newport 18 3 7 8 19 25 16
Bristol Rov 15 4 4 7 15 21 16
Morecambe 15 3 6 6 18 24 15
Exeter 15 3 5 7 15 17 14
Hartlepool 14 3 3 8 15 19 12
Oxford 14 2 2 10 9 23 8

Comments (19)

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9:27am Tue 29 Apr 14

AylesburyOx says...

The players don't care
The coaches don't care
The board don't care

Yet the fans are ALWAYS expected to care and get the blame for either being too demanding, or unsupportive or not vocal enough or not paying for over priced so called 'deals' - the money for which we never see on the pitch!

Waste of time
Waste of my football club

Shame on all involved
The players don't care The coaches don't care The board don't care Yet the fans are ALWAYS expected to care and get the blame for either being too demanding, or unsupportive or not vocal enough or not paying for over priced so called 'deals' - the money for which we never see on the pitch! Waste of time Waste of my football club Shame on all involved AylesburyOx
  • Score: 38

9:50am Tue 29 Apr 14

Joe1 says...

Strange that, the fans also have the same thought.
No wonder CW left, he saw the writing on the wall.
He did his best with what we had, then they started to fade.
Strange that, the fans also have the same thought. No wonder CW left, he saw the writing on the wall. He did his best with what we had, then they started to fade. Joe1
  • Score: 21

12:12pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Oxokuba says...

Joe1 wrote:
Strange that, the fans also have the same thought.
No wonder CW left, he saw the writing on the wall.
He did his best with what we had, then they started to fade.
Wilder did his best with the players he signed whom as it has transpired were clearly not good enough.
[quote][p][bold]Joe1[/bold] wrote: Strange that, the fans also have the same thought. No wonder CW left, he saw the writing on the wall. He did his best with what we had, then they started to fade.[/p][/quote]Wilder did his best with the players he signed whom as it has transpired were clearly not good enough. Oxokuba
  • Score: 13

12:44pm Tue 29 Apr 14

monkey_tennis says...

Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.
Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence. monkey_tennis
  • Score: 3

1:27pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Doctor69 says...

monkey_tennis wrote:
Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.
OUFC never got rid of Wilder, he walked out. In the end IL got compo for him. If he had of carried on getting results he would have got an extended contract as per the terms of his deal.

Wilder, as proven is good at grinding out results and making a steady league 2 team. He isnt good at getting teams out of league 2
[quote][p][bold]monkey_tennis[/bold] wrote: Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.[/p][/quote]OUFC never got rid of Wilder, he walked out. In the end IL got compo for him. If he had of carried on getting results he would have got an extended contract as per the terms of his deal. Wilder, as proven is good at grinding out results and making a steady league 2 team. He isnt good at getting teams out of league 2 Doctor69
  • Score: 13

2:25pm Tue 29 Apr 14

downsview says...

Well if Wilder wasn't good enough Waddock is even worse. What a shambles Lenegan & the rest of the board should hang their heads in shame Their decisions only marginally less bad than the attitude of most of the players
Well if Wilder wasn't good enough Waddock is even worse. What a shambles Lenegan & the rest of the board should hang their heads in shame Their decisions only marginally less bad than the attitude of most of the players downsview
  • Score: 1

3:10pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Beau champ mummy says...

Get the clowns lenagan and wad dock out
Get the clowns lenagan and wad dock out Beau champ mummy
  • Score: -4

4:14pm Tue 29 Apr 14

oldun says...

Relegation - absolutely - since he halfway stage only Wycombe have fewer points. Going down next season - unless the team is massively strengthened - at least ten new and better players please
Relegation - absolutely - since he halfway stage only Wycombe have fewer points. Going down next season - unless the team is massively strengthened - at least ten new and better players please oldun
  • Score: 6

4:45pm Tue 29 Apr 14

OxRoxBox says...

Ryan Clarke I am afraid and sad to say you are wrong - but for the good start to the season it would not have been a "relegation dogfight" it would have been a relegation certainty . . . . . with no dogs fighting whatsoever!!! Just a bunch of soft pussycats relegated with probably the worst points haul ever :(
Ryan Clarke I am afraid and sad to say you are wrong - but for the good start to the season it would not have been a "relegation dogfight" it would have been a relegation certainty . . . . . with no dogs fighting whatsoever!!! Just a bunch of soft pussycats relegated with probably the worst points haul ever :( OxRoxBox
  • Score: 10

5:01pm Tue 29 Apr 14

BigAlBiker says...

Over the season we have been great, then rubbish, pure and simple. If it was not for Ryan Clarke we would have I reckon 12 points les than we have now, that's a minimum as recently he has saved the day on more then one occasion. The fact that he was both the players and supporters player of the season proves this.

As for IL he dropped a right big goolie waiting as he did to appoint this donkey, he is no better, he might talk a batter game but he offers nothing in inspiration or enthusiasm to me.

As others have said, it's clear out time, Hunt, Newey, Raynes, Wroe, Rigg, Rose, Smalley, Alfie was a great player until his injury, now he is slow and does not tackle, time for him to go, as for those I would keep, Clarke, Whing, Beano (yes I would).

We need commitment and pace in all areas, Waddonk (yes I spelt it right) is not the man, but we have to wait and see.

Time to recover from this season I guess and then we go again.
Over the season we have been great, then rubbish, pure and simple. If it was not for Ryan Clarke we would have I reckon 12 points les than we have now, that's a minimum as recently he has saved the day on more then one occasion. The fact that he was both the players and supporters player of the season proves this. As for IL he dropped a right big goolie waiting as he did to appoint this donkey, he is no better, he might talk a batter game but he offers nothing in inspiration or enthusiasm to me. As others have said, it's clear out time, Hunt, Newey, Raynes, Wroe, Rigg, Rose, Smalley, Alfie was a great player until his injury, now he is slow and does not tackle, time for him to go, as for those I would keep, Clarke, Whing, Beano (yes I would). We need commitment and pace in all areas, Waddonk (yes I spelt it right) is not the man, but we have to wait and see. Time to recover from this season I guess and then we go again. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 1

5:36pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Oxokuba says...

monkey_tennis wrote:
Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.
Wilder left. That's just two words you need to understand so there's 6 months of your life you won't get back.
[quote][p][bold]monkey_tennis[/bold] wrote: Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.[/p][/quote]Wilder left. That's just two words you need to understand so there's 6 months of your life you won't get back. Oxokuba
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Tue 29 Apr 14

oldun says...

BigAlBiker wrote:
Over the season we have been great, then rubbish, pure and simple. If it was not for Ryan Clarke we would have I reckon 12 points les than we have now, that's a minimum as recently he has saved the day on more then one occasion. The fact that he was both the players and supporters player of the season proves this.

As for IL he dropped a right big goolie waiting as he did to appoint this donkey, he is no better, he might talk a batter game but he offers nothing in inspiration or enthusiasm to me.

As others have said, it's clear out time, Hunt, Newey, Raynes, Wroe, Rigg, Rose, Smalley, Alfie was a great player until his injury, now he is slow and does not tackle, time for him to go, as for those I would keep, Clarke, Whing, Beano (yes I would).

We need commitment and pace in all areas, Waddonk (yes I spelt it right) is not the man, but we have to wait and see.

Time to recover from this season I guess and then we go again.
Agreed - except for James Constable (we need more than huff and puff from a striker) - I hope that Hunt, Newey, Raynes, Wroe, Rigg, Rose, Smalley , Potter and Constable - and quiet man Wright - all leave as soon as possible. We need many more players like Mullins, Whing and Clarke -
[quote][p][bold]BigAlBiker[/bold] wrote: Over the season we have been great, then rubbish, pure and simple. If it was not for Ryan Clarke we would have I reckon 12 points les than we have now, that's a minimum as recently he has saved the day on more then one occasion. The fact that he was both the players and supporters player of the season proves this. As for IL he dropped a right big goolie waiting as he did to appoint this donkey, he is no better, he might talk a batter game but he offers nothing in inspiration or enthusiasm to me. As others have said, it's clear out time, Hunt, Newey, Raynes, Wroe, Rigg, Rose, Smalley, Alfie was a great player until his injury, now he is slow and does not tackle, time for him to go, as for those I would keep, Clarke, Whing, Beano (yes I would). We need commitment and pace in all areas, Waddonk (yes I spelt it right) is not the man, but we have to wait and see. Time to recover from this season I guess and then we go again.[/p][/quote]Agreed - except for James Constable (we need more than huff and puff from a striker) - I hope that Hunt, Newey, Raynes, Wroe, Rigg, Rose, Smalley , Potter and Constable - and quiet man Wright - all leave as soon as possible. We need many more players like Mullins, Whing and Clarke - oldun
  • Score: 5

5:45pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Ian Faulkner says...

I'm convinced that next season will see us end up in the lower half of the table and quite probably in the relegation zone. Anyone who thinks otherwise must be extraordinarily complacent, given Waddock's atrocious record so far.
I'm convinced that next season will see us end up in the lower half of the table and quite probably in the relegation zone. Anyone who thinks otherwise must be extraordinarily complacent, given Waddock's atrocious record so far. Ian Faulkner
  • Score: 5

5:55pm Tue 29 Apr 14

deedee444 says...

The injury to Mullins was the major factor in our downturn in form,he should be made catain next season when we dump Wilders lover Wright,the biggest mistake Wilder made while in charge was to get rid of Bulman....we were never the same side since.........Wilder deserved the push for that decision alone.
The injury to Mullins was the major factor in our downturn in form,he should be made catain next season when we dump Wilders lover Wright,the biggest mistake Wilder made while in charge was to get rid of Bulman....we were never the same side since.........Wilder deserved the push for that decision alone. deedee444
  • Score: 7

6:05pm Tue 29 Apr 14

howardl says...

Beau champ mummy wrote:
Get the clowns lenagan and wad dock out
Poo...whats that smell?
[quote][p][bold]Beau champ mummy[/bold] wrote: Get the clowns lenagan and wad dock out[/p][/quote]Poo...whats that smell? howardl
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Tue 29 Apr 14

MiddleBartonYellow says...

Beau champ mummy wrote:
Get the clowns lenagan and wad dock out
Yes let's get Lenegan out. And then go bust the next day. Got anymore great ideas.
[quote][p][bold]Beau champ mummy[/bold] wrote: Get the clowns lenagan and wad dock out[/p][/quote]Yes let's get Lenegan out. And then go bust the next day. Got anymore great ideas. MiddleBartonYellow
  • Score: -2

10:05pm Tue 29 Apr 14

dovepe says...

monkey_tennis wrote:
Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.
I am still here.Wilder out.He left the club,If you like Him so much go and support Him down the road.enjoy boring football.I will give GW the support next season.I hope IL does by putting money in to buy players.forget Wilder & get behind GW.
[quote][p][bold]monkey_tennis[/bold] wrote: Oh look, Northampton Town are fifth in that form table. Should never have got rid of Wilder. The clueless 'Wilder Out' brigade got their way and are now noticeable by their absence.[/p][/quote]I am still here.Wilder out.He left the club,If you like Him so much go and support Him down the road.enjoy boring football.I will give GW the support next season.I hope IL does by putting money in to buy players.forget Wilder & get behind GW. dovepe
  • Score: -2

4:10pm Wed 30 Apr 14

DuberryandBeanofan says...

In November when we lost to Bristol Rovers I started to feel like the writing was already on the wall. Before Christmas we lost Alfie Potter to a really bad injury, is he properly match fit or does Waddock not want to risk him being totally back to his normal self next season. I would hope that Waddock keeps, Bevans, Shama (who we haven't seen) Marsh (hasn't been given a fair go). I'd like to see the team next season of Clarke, Bevans, Mullins, Long, Meades, Potter, Ruffels, Ashby, Humphreys, Roberts and Marsh.
In November when we lost to Bristol Rovers I started to feel like the writing was already on the wall. Before Christmas we lost Alfie Potter to a really bad injury, is he properly match fit or does Waddock not want to risk him being totally back to his normal self next season. I would hope that Waddock keeps, Bevans, Shama (who we haven't seen) Marsh (hasn't been given a fair go). I'd like to see the team next season of Clarke, Bevans, Mullins, Long, Meades, Potter, Ruffels, Ashby, Humphreys, Roberts and Marsh. DuberryandBeanofan
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Wed 30 Apr 14

oldun says...

DuberryandBeanofan wrote:
In November when we lost to Bristol Rovers I started to feel like the writing was already on the wall. Before Christmas we lost Alfie Potter to a really bad injury, is he properly match fit or does Waddock not want to risk him being totally back to his normal self next season. I would hope that Waddock keeps, Bevans, Shama (who we haven't seen) Marsh (hasn't been given a fair go). I'd like to see the team next season of Clarke, Bevans, Mullins, Long, Meades, Potter, Ruffels, Ashby, Humphreys, Roberts and Marsh.
Bar Potter, I would like to see those players at the club - but I so hope that seven of them will be pushed out of the starting line up by better players
[quote][p][bold]DuberryandBeanofan[/bold] wrote: In November when we lost to Bristol Rovers I started to feel like the writing was already on the wall. Before Christmas we lost Alfie Potter to a really bad injury, is he properly match fit or does Waddock not want to risk him being totally back to his normal self next season. I would hope that Waddock keeps, Bevans, Shama (who we haven't seen) Marsh (hasn't been given a fair go). I'd like to see the team next season of Clarke, Bevans, Mullins, Long, Meades, Potter, Ruffels, Ashby, Humphreys, Roberts and Marsh.[/p][/quote]Bar Potter, I would like to see those players at the club - but I so hope that seven of them will be pushed out of the starting line up by better players oldun
  • Score: 0

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