Karl Robinson accepts point after Oxford held by Cheltenham

Posted Sunday, January 02, 2022 by PA

Karl Robinson accepts point after Oxford held by Cheltenham

Oxford boss Karl Robinson wasn’t as disappointed as maybe some of the club’s supporters that they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to mid-table Cheltenham.

The promotion-chasing U’s remain fifth in League One after Mark Sykes popped up to level eight minutes from time after Callum Wright had opened the scoring for the Robins early in the second half.

Robinson said: “As a fan you look at it with complete frustration because you don’t get what you want, ie a win.

“But as a manager you know not every performance is going to be like we had in midweek [beating AFC Wimbledon 3-0].

“We knew they would be very difficult opponents and we kept back one of the wingers on the bench in case we needed him – and I thought our subs did make a difference.

“I thought we showed tremendous desire to get back into it.

“Yes, it’s disappointing we conceded from a set-piece. We switched off at a corner. Their goal was a small error from us when one of our players miskicked it.

“But then Sykes goes and puts one in and it was the least we deserved.

“Sykes has been brilliant this year. He’d found maintaining that level difficult to achieve initially, coming from non-league, but he’s been great recently. We want him to be here for a long time.

“Credit to them, they made it very difficult for us. They’re very well organised and came here with a very high line and we knew there would be a freshness to them.

“We looked like a good team, it just didn’t drop for us.

“Over the last few months we’ve been very good and we’ll get better. We’ll try to add some more quality in the transfer window.”

Cheltenham manager Michael Duff said of Wright’s opportunistic goal: “That’s what Callum does.

“I thought he was poor in the first half but he sniffs things out and arrives in the right areas.

“We never claim we’re the best team in the league – and clearly we’re not as the league table shows – but we can be competitive and the success of the last two years is built on what we saw today – spirit and desire.”

Duff also admitted he was glad to be back in the dug-out after his own Covid-enforced absence.

He added: “I wouldn’t recommend watching it on TV as a manager when there’s a 45-second delay and the kids are sitting in silence because they’re frightened to death of what’s going on!

“You don’t have that much input on the sidelines but you feel that you do because you’ve got that emotional connection to the players and you want them to do well.

“You are removed when you’re watching it on TV.

“I think we can be competitive, we have shown that in the first half of the season. We’ve had a few punches along the way because we are a small club and we haven’t got the finances of some clubs.

“But the one thing we said at the start of the season is even if we are to get relegated, can we be competitive and tough to play against?

“We’ve maybe come away from that form in the last month but today we were back to it.

“We’d watched Oxford in the last two or three home games and they’d been battering teams. They had a lot of possession but they didn’t batter us and we had opportunities on the counter.

“The equaliser was a sickener because a win would have been a real morale-booster. But we’ll take the positives from the result.”


Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.