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Murray: Factors affected our performance

21 February 2015

Gaffer discusses defeat to Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Manager Adam Murray admits that our team were second best in today’s defeat to Oxford United, but believes it was a tough game due to a number of factors.

Two goals by Alex MacDonald and a spot-kick by Danny Hylton was enough for the U’s to leapfrog us in the Sky Bet League Two table with a 3-0 victory.

Nevertheless, it was our team’s fifth competitive game in 15 days – something which, along with playing on one of the largest playing surfaces in the division, was a reason for the defeat.

“We went out there today on possibly one of the biggest pitches in the league and I think we were treading water from the first minute,” said Murray.

“We’ve tried to re-energise and get the boys back up to speed over the last few days and we’ve had a lot of the lads from Tuesday night[‘s game against Luton Town] sitting on the treatment table and we’ve had to roll them out again today.

“We knew, as staff, that as a group we were up against it today and I think that’s how it looked. We looked like we didn’t have anything in us, we had no energy, we didn’t try to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and we paid the price for it.”

Our boss continued: “We weren’t an attacking threat today. In the last couple of games, we’ve had a lot of legs getting up to the frontmen and our wide boys have been really effective.

“Today, we didn’t give them [the widemen] the service, and then when it did get forward, we gave the ball away too easily, but I’m not going to get too down. 

“It’s a game that I looked at during the period of games that we’re in and I knew it would be our toughest one.

Asked why this was our toughest game in a while, Murray said: “What happens is people look at the situation that Oxford are in and say ‘Oh, they’re down there, they can’t be a very good side,’ but I see through that.

“I see the players that Michael [Appleton, Oxford manager] has brought in and there are some top draw players. 

“You don’t go to a top of the table team and buy one of the best wingers off them, if he’s not effective. He [Alex MacDonald] showed today that he has an X factor and we haven’t got that.

“We have to give 200% every day, and in every game, to get something out of the game and today we didn’t do that.”

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