KARL Robinson took responsibility for Oxford United slumping back deep into relegation trouble after their awful festive period continued.

Plymouth Argyle, who started the day rock bottom in Sky Bet League One, ran out 3-0 winners to inflict a third straight defeat on the U’s, who fell to 22nd place.

Robinson reversed one of his pre-match changes at half-time, reinstalling John Mousinho and dropping Luke Garbutt, but by that stage they were 2-0 down.

The U’s boss again pointed to fatigue for playing its part on a squad worn thin by injuries and the heavy fixture schedule, but felt it would not have been fair to throw on one of his young substitutes.

And Robinson understood much of the criticism would come his way.

He said: “Ultimately I’ll be the one who takes most of the blame because I’m the manager – I’ve been around long enough to understand the criticism we’ll get.

“Some of it is unfair, but that’s the industry we all love so much.

“We’re only ever judged on the results and in the last three games we’ve been atrocious in our performances, as well as the results being negative.

“We just looked like we didn’t have that cutting edge in the final third and we were far too deep as a back four.”

He added: “We were way off. I thought my team selection was wrong.

“I have to take responsibility for that, but we’re flogging people.”

Robinson was pleased to see his players address the travelling support, who showed their displeasure at the performance, at the final whistle.

He said: “I thought they showed the fans complete respect.

“It wasn’t a token gesture from the halfway line, they went all the way and hopefully they’ll get some respect for that.

“It means a lot for me that my players are taking responsibility and almost holding their hands up to the performance which wasn’t acceptable.”

Help is on the way, with Jordan Graham’s loan officially starting today, while Mark Sykes’s move from Glenavon is close to completion.

But the losing run has undone the momentum built up before Christmas.

Robinson, who has cancelled a day off for the players today, said: “We’ve got to dig deep again and that’s what it’s got to be, unfortunately. I have to take responsibility for that as well.”

There has also been speculation about some of United’s players.

Curtis Nelson’s future is up in the air with his contract expiring in the summer, but the former captain refused to answer any questions about his situation.

Instead, the centre back did not want to use tiredness as a reason behind the sudden slump in results.

He said: “You can’t use anything as an excuse.

“We’ve just got to perform well on the day and not make excuses for our inability to win games.”