Karl Robinson hails Oxford players after win over Sheffield Wednesday

Posted Sunday, January 23, 2022 by PA

Karl Robinson hails Oxford players after win over Sheffield Wednesday

Oxford boss Karl Robinson saluted his players after the 3-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday – even though it was his change of tactics at half-time that proved the master stroke.

Largely second best in the first half, the U’s looked a different proposition with three at the back after Robinson’s half-time switch.

They changed to a hardly-used 3-4-3 formation with the manager throwing on Sam Winnall late on – and Winnall repaying him by heading a dramatic 84th minute winner from Billy Bodin’s corner which lifts the U’s to sixth in Sky Bet League 1.

Oxford  had also beaten The Owls 2-1 at Hillsborough in October, and Robinson said: “To take six points off Sheffield Wednesday is quite some achievement.

“I’m not sure how we’re doing it, with all our selection problems, but we’re in the mix with the big boys.

“We changed tactically and I thought that helped us. The change of shape helped us and allowed us to be a lot more dominant in our game.

“But this was about my players standing up to the challenge today.

“It’s been a hard week, one of the hardest weeks I’ve had here, but it’s nice to end it with a smile on the face.”

Oxford twice came from behind with Matty Taylor scoring a brace to take his tally of goals for the club to 50, after Barry Bannan and then substitute Josh Windass had given Wednesday the lead.

“It just shows the strength of personalities this team has,” Robinson said. “We knew the crowd was going to be 10,000-plus, and we knew how difficult the match would be.

“But we’re a good team, and that’s a really positive result. And the crowd were unbelievable.

“To be fair, they had a blatant penalty for a foul by Steve Seddon on Jack Hunt.

“This wasn’t any different to how we played at Wycombe last week – where we were maybe better, but didn’t have any luck.

“When Windass came on for them, he made a big difference.”

Winnall’s winner, against his old club, was the 31-year-old striker’s first goal of the season after a difficult time and not as much game time as he would have hoped.

“I’m pleased for Sam Winnall, and also for Billy Bodin who was very good too,” Robinson said.

“I felt goals would come from set plays today – we felt the delivery was getting there, and the runs were right.

“I said to the team before the start ‘play with no fear, and play as a team’. It was really pleasing to me that we stuck together.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore said: “You can’t concede three poor goals like we did today.

“I was pleased with our general play and our work on the ball but the
goals we conceded were poor.

“Lapses in concentration cost us.

“We put a lot of energy into the game and scored two excellent, fabulously-worked goals, but have ended with nothing.

“We came here to win the game and you saw us score two great goals.

“Oxford couldn’t do anything against the quality of our play.

“We needed to keep the back door shut and that’s where a lack of concentration cost us.

“I expected better than that and I look back at the chances we created, how we played and how we controlled the game… I know that all their goals were avoidable.

“That’s the most disappointing part.

“It’s right to say we chucked it away.

“We came to take the game to Oxford. I’m bitterly disappointed with Oxford’s three goals.”


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