KARL Robinson backed his players to turn things around after Oxford United’s poor start to the season continued with a 2-0 defeat at Charlton Athletic.

The manner of the loss – the side’s fifth in the opening seven Sky Bet League One games – was all too familiar.

Bright spells were not capitalised upon, whereas mistakes at the back were punished by the opposition.

Conor Washington and Andrew Shinnie scored in the latter stages of the first half, while the Addicks played the final 25 minutes with ten men following Ryan Inniss’s second booking.

But United went on to miss chances, which left Robinson exasperated.

The head coach though was not in the mood to blast his players.

He said: “I’m not going to come here and hang any of my players out to dry.

“I don’t think it’s the right time, I don’t think it’s what they need. I think they need protecting and support.

“We need to learn and get better together.

“What I can say to everyone, it’s hurting. Don’t think we’re coming away from here and just seeing it as one of those things.”

The biggest problem for United is there are multiple issues to solve.

This was the fourth time in seven league games his side had failed to score, while they have now conceded in 16 successive matches.

“Which one’s keeping me awake? You could toss a coin right now,” Robinson said.

Among those struggling for form is Simon Eastwood.

While the goalkeeper was left exposed for Washington’s opener, the U’s boss felt he was beaten too easily by Shinnie’s free-kick.

Robinson said: “He’s dedicated to the cause and is just having one of those moments.

“Does he become a bad goalkeeper for one or two mistakes?

“I think there’s a lingering aspect of certain big mistakes that may be putting him under more pressure externally.

“But we have to take that off and at some stage say ‘come on Simon, show everyone how good you are’, because he is that good. He’s had a bad game, that’s just football.

“I’m not going to single him out.

“I think if you spoke to the defenders they would tell you they’re just as big a part to play in some of the mistakes they’re making.

“They are things that have to change very quickly.”