Friday 25 August 2023

Oxford Away

When you’ve just lost 3 league games on the spin what better than to travel away to a team that’s just won 3 in a row!

Following an opening day defeat to rivals Cambridge, the U’s have recorded 1-0, 1-2 and 1-3 wins. The away wins at Derby and Barnsley are particularly impressive.

Manager Liam Manning replaced Karl Robinson back in February after a poor set of results and performances. In truth, Robinson ought to have gone well before then (sound familiar?). Manning appears to be doing things right and he has made his mark on the team.

Oxford have several promising young players that are in good form at the moment. Notably, they include goalkeeper James Beadle who left Charlton for Brighton a couple of years ago. Another mess courtesy of the previous regime.

James is on loan from Brighton. Beadle has great promise and even at the tender age of 19 has been impressive this season.

Another 19 year old with Charlton connections and performing well is Stan Mills (son of Danny) who is on loan from Everton.

Slightly older at 21 is Stephan Negru. He has only played a handful of league games but has also shone to date.

A more senior player at the “old age of 27” is Cameron Brannagan who has played over 200 games for United. He is a quality player who is usually good for 10 to 15 goals a season. 

Oxford, like us this season, are a young side and it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their good start throughout a long season.

Anything other than a defeat tomorrow can be viewed as an improvement. For that to happen we need to cut out the silly defensive mistakes that have blighted our last few games.

Going forward, we are creating chances although that’s only good if you take them of course!

Having Kanu up front last Saturday greatly increased our goal scoring threat. Playing May on his own up front is daft and Kanu needs to stay there.

There is some thought that new signing, Chem Campbell, may start in a front three of CBT, May and himself. Not a good idea for me. Aside from May needing a proper striker alongside him, we need a physical presence and outlet. The ball has more chance of sticking up front with him in the side.

AMB ought to be replaced by Isted and if fit. Camara should come straight back into the team.

Holden has had a full week to work with the team to address the issues at both ends of the pitch and hopefully, we see an improvement at both ends of the pitch.

Our league record at the Kassam is woeful and I was lucky enough to be there for the cup game that we won a few years ago. Let’s pray that we can record a rare league victory much against the odds.

It’s often when we play the better teams that we do well, tomorrow would be a good day to win! I might just have a punt on that….geddit!

Come On You Reds!

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