Defensive Reinforcements Needed at Oxford United

Oxford United need a win. Just six points from their opening eight league games alongside six defeats leave Karl Robinson’s side bottom of the League One table following a 2-0 loss at Fleetwood Town.

Many predicted the U’s would be favourites for promotion this season but their slow start has halted any talks of a top-six finish.

Robinson’s side take on a Rochdale side that are unbeaten in four league games on Tuesday night and remain without several key players through injury. Is it worrying times to be an Oxford supporter?

Oxford United – Needing a Win and Defensive Reinforcements

League Form

Two wins from eight league games certainly isn’t , form. The U’s, like several other sides in the division, have had to deal with several injuries alongside postponement of fixtures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Where other clubs have dealt with these issues, Oxford appear to have been held back by them. There seems to be little momentum at the club both on and off the field, but a couple of wins in succession would help that.

Robinson needs his key players back. Cameron Brannagan in midfield and Rob Atkinson at the back are big losses, but the issues are deeper than just injuries. Defensive vulnerability has been overwhelming, having conceded 16 goals from eight league games, but their inability to score has also been a major concern despite creating many chances during their games.

The U’s have had large spells of possession and have created more chances than their opponents, but finding the back of the net and keeping the ball out of theirs is becoming an all too familiar story.

Defensive Reinforcements

After the club sold Rob Dickie to Queens Park Rangers in the summer, it left a massive void in the heart of the defence. Atkinson has come in and done well but his inexperience at this level, alongside the injuries he has picked up, has halted any signs of progression.

As a result, with club captain John Mousinho also sidelined, Robinson has been forced to play with a makeshift defence and it has shown at times this season.

However, according to Alan Nixon of The Sun, the U’s have shown interest in former Sheffield United defender Ben Heneghan. The 27-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at League One side Blackpool, where he has made 80 appearances, but was released from Bramall Lane in the summer.

Now would be a good time to sign him. The U’s are shipping goals at an average of two per game and need stability in their back four. The arrival of Heneghan would boost morale and, in turn, improve the defence.

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images