It’s been another week of inconsistency for Oxford United. The U’s lost their game in hand against relegation-threatened Northampton Town on Tuesday night before picking up all three points on Friday night as Oxford beat Lincoln City.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Oxford Beat Lincoln But Suffer Defeat at Northampton
Three Years at Oxford United for Karl Robinson
The week began with Oxford United celebrating three years since the appointment of Karl Robinson as manager. The U’s boss has seen several ups and downs during his tenure but the stability he has brought to the club has been a huge success.
Some of the downs include spending much of his first season in the bottom four of the table and failing to make a quick start in each campaign. However, there have certainly been more ups. These include enjoyable cup runs and reaching the League One play-off final.
Another thing Robinson has managed during his time at Oxford is breaking records. Twice, the U’s boss has handed a debut to an academy star who has become the club’s youngest player, his side recorded the club’s highest away win in the Football League when Oxford beat Lincoln 6-0 at Sincil Bank and, earlier this season, he led the club to a record nine wins in succession.
Defeat at Northampton
Oxford headed into their game against Northampton off the back of a league loss to Blackpool. However, the game at Sixfields was a game in hand having been postponed in January.
Oxford knew a win and a Blackpool loss against Peterborough United would have moved the U’s into the top six for the first time all season, but the results were reversed with defeat for Oxford and a win for the Seasiders.
The U’s just struggled to get going against a Cobblers side that sat in the bottom four and without a win in three. Jon Brady’s side are also the divisions lowest scoring side, so it was hardly a surprise the game ended 1-0. Robinson made five changes with one eye on the Lincoln game, and while it worked on Friday, it backfired on Tuesday.
Oxford Beat Lincoln
Again, Robinson made five changes against the Imps. One of the returning players was James Henry, who had been out with injury since late February.
Lincoln headed into the game with just one win in eight, losing four, and were without a string of absentees. Despite that, Michael Appleton’s side took an early lead. It could have been easy for Oxford heads to drop but the U’s responded brilliantly.
A penalty appeal was waved away before substitute Anthony Forde netted his first goal of the season, drilling in from inside the box.
While an entertaining first half ended all square, Oxford took the lead after the restart through Matty Taylor, and the U’s managed to see the game out.
The win moved Oxford up to seventh and level on points with Blackpool, but dropped one place and one point off the top six after Saturday’s results.
Mark Sykes Discusses Contract Extension
Midfielder Mark Sykes is out of contract in the summer but the club have the option to extend his current deal.
The 23-year-old has been in and out of Karl Robinson’s side this season but is enjoying a run of games at the moment.
The midfielder is hoping his improved performances will prompt the club to extend his deal. Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Sykes said: “If they take it up happy days, but they haven’t told me what they want to do yet.
“I feel like I’ve done well when I have been playing. But it’s not my decision, so it’s up to the club and whatever they think.
“If I’m playing well it makes their decision a little bit easier.”