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Dempster: We must improve

16 November 2013

Defender John Dempster believes our team need to stop conceding sloppy goals, following our 3-1 loss to Oxford United this afternoon.

 After going behind courtesy of Sean Rigg’s strike on 12 minutes, our task was made even harder after Jamie McGuire received a red card for a strong challenge on Danny Rose.

Dempster had sympathy for McGuire and thought the midfielder was unlucky to see a straight red. 

“I felt sorry for Jamie (McGuire). He’s 100% committed to this football club,” said the defender.

“There was a tackle to be won and both players went in for it. I think the reaction of the Oxford United players didn’t help.

“Jamie’s an honest player and at the end of the day, he wanted to win the tackle. Sometimes referees can be a bit too quick to produce red cards, without just giving a yellow.”

Dempster continued: “Earlier on in the season, we were receiving a lot of praise for keeping clean sheets and being strong defensively. 

“That was the whole team doing that, but at the moment and especially today, we are conceding sloppy goals, which as a group is not good enough.

“We’re not going to pick a fault with the referee, blame the conditions or anything like that. It’s not good enough and we need to improve.”

Meanwhile, the defender, who believes the U’s will do well this term, has urged our players to ‘up their game’ as we face promotion-chasing Fleetwood Town next Saturday.

He added:  “I think Oxford will be right up there. They have some good players and have a top young manager. 

“They are an organised team and play some good football as shown today even though it was against 10 men. 

“We do expect to compete against them like we have against the top sides this year. Today we felt like we have let them off lightly.

“You can’t panic - if you win two games in a row then you could potentially be in the play-offs.

“We will come in on Monday morning and look at putting things right because we are not where we should be at the moment and as a group we need to improve.”

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