OXFORD United need to learn quickly after they were second best when it came to doing the basics in their 2-1 defeat against Walsall, according to manager Pep Clotet.

Ryan Ledson’s penalty was just a consolation as for the second week running the U’s only woke up when they were 2-0 down.

Erhun Oztumer and Tyler Roberts put Walsall in charge, but just as in United’s 3-1 defeat at Blackpool a week earlier, the opposition had good chances to run up a more emphatic scoreline.

The visitors did a good job of stifling Jack Payne, Ryan Ledson and Joe Rothwell, but Clotet was frustrated it took so long for his side to adapt.

The U’s boss said: “Even though we had chances enough to try to draw the game, I don’t think we did the basics right to really take something out of the game.

“I have told the players we have to address it straight away.

“What they are doing is easy to solve – they’re putting markers on Jack, Lego (Ledson) and Joe.

“It makes it more uncomfortable for them to get away from the man, but those players have enough resources to beat that kind of defence.”

He added: “We went a little more direct (in the second half) to try to get away from the pressing.

“That worked because we managed to get back into the game and cause problems.

“But I don’t feel it’s right that we missed a whole half to do that.

“We have to be better and I’m not satisfied at all with what I saw.”

Clotet did not want to be too critical of his young trio in the middle, who have produced some sparkling football this season.

“I think our average age in the middle is 22, you don’t need to be very hard on them,” he said.

“Sometimes you take two steps back and three steps forward.

“It’s difficult to build a really sustainable team from the beginning, but it’s important we keep reinforcing what we’re doing well and improving what we’re not doing well.”

Clotet could also have a headache over who plays up front at Bury tomorrow.

Jon Obika, who had only just returned from an injury, came off at half-time, while Wes Thomas’s knee problem will keep him out for at least another a week.