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  1. Yeah it was a great night even though we lost in the end, pushed a Premier League team, who weren't fielding a youth side, right to the end. Saint-Maximin looked dangerous in the first leg despite getting a load of stick from their fans afterwards, and even though his decision making was a bit dodgy I thought that one of his efforts was going to go in eventually. Can't begrudge him it though, no-one was really at fault, just a great finish. Oh well, had a cracking night out in Newcastle in the first leg and a great evening last night, we get a bit of a payday which is probably peanuts to a prem club but is not to be sniffed at for a club our size. In a way I'm relieved as our league form was suffering a bit and play offs is the target this year. Lost two of our best players in the window, Baptiste and Fosu, to Brentford which is annoying but again a club like ours has to sell to survive unfortunately. Good luck to them both, hopefully they go on to better things. Got some tough games coming up against Posh, Sunderland, and Ipswich this month which will probably decide how far we go. Whether we make the play offs or not this year it's been the best season I can remember for a long time and I'm just enjoying the ride whilst it lasts.
  2. Man City at home again, oh well it was fun while it lasted!
  3. Beat Sunderland on penalties last night to make it through to the quarter finals of the League cup for the first time in almost 30 years. In truth I didn't think we played very well, first half was quite even, second half we wasted some good chances that I thought would come back to haunt us. Last 20 minutes or so we were on the ropes and it was obvious that some players had completely run out of steam - I have no idea why Robinson left it so late to get them off and get some fresh legs on, but inevitably they scored, and it was obvious that it was coming for some time. Not a vintage performance in any way, and I thought some of our players played really poorly based on what I know they can do - Baptiste especially was incredibly wasteful, passes to nowhere, and a couple of suicide passes for good measure. But it was nice to have an off day and get away with it for once. Sunderland will feel hard done by, but they had enough chances to win it in normal time so it didn't go to pens and their finishing was woeful. I hate watching penalty shoot outs anyway, but in person it's just horrific. I didn't need to worry though as we scored all of ours and Sunderland missed one (Will Grigg - who I think cost them a few quid last season) and had one saved (McNulty). Cue the place going beserk after their last pen was saved. A chilly night in our soulless breeze block of a stadium, but one I'll definitely remember.
  4. Guess it comes down to whether the players still have confidence in him. When we went through a ropey patch, well a ropey season really, it was noticeable that the players stood by the manager even though fans were wanting him out. Things have turned around now but it's taken a long time. But with our previous manager it was obvious that players had lost confidence in him and there wasn't really any coming back from that. The whole atmosphere got toxic and it just wasn't a good place to be for anyone.
  5. I suppose the question is who do you want to replace him? As sometimes these things don't end up improving the situation. Why have things changed so much this season? Have to admit I didn't keep track of all the comings and goings in L1 so was recruitment the issue? I know you signed Marquis but wasn't sure who had left (as presumably he cost a few quid!). We beat a pretty poor Rochdale team in horrific conditions on Saturday, somehow the rain was hitting me in the face despite the fact I sit about 3 rows from the back of the stand. In fairness to them they tried to play it out from the back and pass it about but they never really looked threatening and started resorting to hopeful long balls to chase after about 15 minutes. We went two up quite quickly, then their lone striker got a straight red just before half time which killed the game and allowed us to rest some players for Sunderland on Tuesday night. Second half was a bit strange in that they didn't seem to want to try and chase the game and we were content to just keep possession, probably the most relaxed I've been at an Oxford match. That said, we were wasteful with chances in the second half we should have put away - in this case it didn't matter but against a better team that will hurt us. Pleased Sam Long got a goal, he's a local boy who has been loyal to the club and has always done whatever is asked of him even though he's not a first team regular. I think this is probably the best team to watch that I can remember, regardless of whether we stay in the play offs or not, after 2 pretty crap seasons I'm just enjoying watching it whilst it lasts.
  6. Not sure the Bolton team from the start of the season is the one you'll be facing now - they signed a load of players on deadline day which means it's bit of a different proposition. I was initially annoyed that we only managed to draw with them, but Sunderland needed an injury time penalty to salvage a draw there at the weekend. Whether that's fair or not in terms of teams playing them earlier in the season getting an easier ride is another matter. Went away on holiday and we seemingly battered Lincoln (who coincidentally our old manager has just been appointed to) 6-0. Then we went on to beat West Ham 4-0 in the League cup after making 6 changes to the team (admittedly they made 9 but still). Maybe I should go on holiday more often! Shame about drawing Sunderland at home in the next round as I was hoping for a novelty away day, but I suppose the upside is it's winnable.
  7. Join the club - we drew 0-0 to Bolton! I appreciate it's not their U23 team now, but the pros they've signed can only have had a couple of weeks or so of training so we should have been too much on fitness alone. Sounds like they could have been up 2 or 3 by half time. Beat Tranmere at the weekend but 3-0 flattered us, they looked awful. I thought Burton were one of the better sides I've seen this year, worked really hard, moved the ball quickly, and looked to have some attacking threat. The positivity I had at the start of the season is starting to waver a bit, it's feeling very much like last season but with less injuries. I predict us bobbing up and down around the lower end of the table through the season. Which I suppose is an improvement over being in the relegation spots for most of the season last year!
  8. Yes it was a crazy game, I thought it was fairly evenly balanced in the first half and Mackie missed a sitter. Second half was pretty bonkers, from Woodburn hitting the post on the volley from outside the area to your second in less than a minute! Not sure what Dabo was thinking for the first, he wasn't really under any pressure. For the second he had to get something on it otherwise Moore would have got to it, although I'm guessing preferably away from your goal! I thought when we made our substitutions and Woodburn went off it changed the game, Baptiste and Fosu were both more direct and causing problems for what was looking like a pretty tired defense. Regardless it was cracking entertainment and would have been a great game for a neutral, two teams playing quick passing football and 6 goals. Dabo is our second highest scorer this season, Brannagan has three We need to stop shipping goals asap, that's 12 in the last 4 games - which keeps giving us a mountain to climb, especially with only one fit striker at the moment.
  9. We had almost the same against Blackpool and lost, dominated the game but couldn't score. The local rag describes it as 'Take the three points and run' - 'That would be my advice, for this was a theft as brazen as the Great Train Robbery in 1962.' So I'm not too down about it, as long as we're playing well we'll be ok - just one of those days. Burton tomorrow evening, they like to play a passing game so it should be decent watch.
  10. Same result, same scorer, beat Peterborough again in the League Cup despite making 7 changes - good to see we have a little more depth this season as last year we'd struggle to make more than a couple of changes without basically throwing in the towel. Sadly one of our youth players, who had been battling illness last season so had limited playing time, had his leg broken by a pretty rubbish challenge. Seemed to be a little bit of a nasty edge to some of Peterborough's play in both games, not sure if that's something they've been told to do by Ferguson to stamp their authority on the game. Regardless of intent, if someone is getting stretchered off you go and check on them or apologise. Also during the match on Saturday play was stopped whilst we were in possession for a possible head injury to Toney (he had jumped into our centreback). But when play was restarted instead of giving us the ball back Toney just started an attack .. I know it's not against the rules but it's pretty poor sportsmanship. Blackpool next, I think that's going to be a tough test as they've started really well.
  11. That's the guy yeah - signed too late to play Saturday so haven't actually seen him kick a ball yet. Robinson seems to be good at developing young players though so hopefully he can the get best out of him
  12. Decent result in our first home game against Peterborough. Weather was absolutely crazy with it switching between rain, sun, and gale force gusts of wind every few minutes. First half we dominated and they didn't offer much threat, seemed quite disjointed as a team. Their number 10 caused us some problems, but their number 7 seemed more interested in falling over than playing football. He was subbed off at half time so I'm guessing their manager thought the same. Second half they had more energy about them and got back into the game, Maddison was a threat but again not much end product. It eventually degraded into hoofball trying to pick out Toney, which would have probably worked us over last season! But our young centre back seems like a different man this year, full of confidence, kept Toney quiet, and made 3 or 4 crucial interceptions that prevented a one on one. Terrible miss by Woodburn though, should have been a tap in to put us two up after Henry's shot hit the bar, but somehow managed to smash it over - hopefully doesn't dent his confidence too much. Finally signed a forward from Burnley, if we can sign another (or two more would be a rare luxury) then I think we'll have a decent season ahead. Weirdly playing Posh again in the League cup tomorrow night. Not fully confident the result will be the same though.
  13. Yeah decent result, would have taken the point if you had offered it to me before the game. Sounded like some players were struggling for march fitness, and we're sorely lacking any striking options but a positive start. Already surpassed the start of last season! Bolton and Bury look like they're in a bad way, not sure if they'll both see the season out but if they do they've got a mountain to climb already.
  14. Not 100% accurate, we're sponsored by Singha beer because our current chairman is Thai and presumably has business connections there. But the problem stems from the fact we don't own our ground, we're tenants and lease it from a previous club owner. This means we have precious little say on what goes on within the ground itself as we're just tenants. So a catering company leases the space in the ground from the ground owner to sell food and drink and the club see none of that revenue. Whether or not they want to stock Singha is their choice (don't care for it myself personally!) but not something the club can dictate or influence. This is all a legacy of a disastrous decision some time ago to separate the club from the ground - whether this was done knowing the future consequences or was a naive error is debatable. But the fact is the former chairman Firoz Kassam, has done a number on us and has done nothing since to indicate he has any sympathy with our situation. In fact, he'd probably like it if we went bust and he could demolish the stadium and sell it for housing. That said, I wouldn't say we're not a basket case - we lose 1-2 mil a season usually which isn't sustainable, and unless we can find a solution to free us from our current situation regarding the ground to increase revenue we're always going to struggle. Now why someone would want to buy the club knowing the above is another matter... !
  15. Oxford United supporter back for another season. Didn't get round to updating last season's thread as the end of our season just sort of petered out, but given we spent most of the season in and around the relegation spots I guess 12th would be considered a good result in the end. I'm hoping for a more relaxed season than last year and hopefully we've learned lessons from the disastrous recruitment last summer which meant we didn't start looking like a coherent team until mid October. Recruitment has been pretty quiet so far, we've picked up a Spanish midfielder from Motherwell and a couple of youth prospects. Nelson looks like he's leaving for Cardiff and good on him, a great player who behaved like a true professional until the end - unlike a few of our other players in recent memory who started playing silly games to force a move. He will be very difficult to replace, but it's been on the cards all season so hopefully we started looking early. If we can carry on playing as we were at the end of the season I think we'll be comfortably mid table with a possible sniff of the play offs, but as we found last season things can turn sour very quickly! Good luck to everyone, thoroughly enjoyed reading people's insights into their clubs last year.
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