It was another busy week at Oxford United but the U’s recorded no wins in a week for the first time since early December.
On Tuesday, Karl Robinson’s side bowed out of the Football League Trophy at the semi-final stage with defeat against Tranmere Rovers before playing out a goalless draw against Ipswich Town in the league.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: No Wins, Knockd Out of the Cup and Fans Forum Reaction
Oxford Manager Karl Robinson Speaks Out on Fire Disruption During Last Weeks Wigan Win
Last week, the U’s recorded two wins from two games but this week ended with no wins from their two fixtures. One of the victories last week – a 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic – was the cause of plenty of drama.
Not only was the game pushed back by 25 hours as a result of a frozen pitch, but the second half was delayed after a fire broke out in one of the stadium’s floodlights.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail on Monday, Robinson said: “It was a mental 40 minutes, another chapter in this Oxford United season. It’s just another challenge and we embrace it.
“We could smell it in the dressing room at half-time. The big worry for me was the 8,000 vaccinations within this building. That was far more important than a game of football.
“That was our biggest worry as a stadium and as a football club, to make sure that people in the building were safe.
“It’s a great day that the vaccinations can still be carried out and we got three points, it’s a good day for Oxford.”
The club also released a statement, which read: “At half-time, a fire in a plant room was discovered. This in turn caused some of the floodlights to fail, delaying the start of the second half.
“The fire was dealt with and the emergency services were quickly on the scene.” The club have launched an internal investigation into the matter.
Tranmere Triumph in Trophy
On Tuesday, Oxford missed out on the chance of a trip to Wembley as they lost to League Two side Tranmere Rovers in the semi-final of the Football League Trophy. A goal in each half for the Whites saw them reach the final of the competition for the first time since 1991.
The U’s will be frustrated with the loss, but more so with the performance. Matty Taylor missed a penalty with the score at a one-goal deficit before hitting the woodwork twice. Robinson didn’t use the delayed Wigan game as a justification for the loss but it would have had an impact on their preparations.
Oxford United Fans Forum Round-Up
On Thursday, Robinson was the guest on BBC Radio Oxford’s Five Minutes Fans Forum. He discussed the Tranmere game, out of contract players and plans for a pre-season tour in Spain.
With six first-team players out of contract in the summer, the U’s boss was hopeful of receiving positive news on one this week. He also felt that the performance on Tuesday of one or two players had made his mind up about their futures at the club.
No Wins in Two With Draw at Portman Road
Oxford United travelled to Ipswich on Saturday looking to return to winning ways. The U’s headed into the game with just two defeats in 17 games in all competitions and were facing a Tractor Boys side that had lost six of their previous nine home games.
Despite both sides pushing for a playoff spot, the game lacked quality. Between them, they managed just three shots on target as the game ended goalless – as it did when the sides met at Grenoble Road earlier in the season.
The point leaves the U’s three points off the playoffs ahead of games against Portsmouth and MK Dons next week.