• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson predicts ‘light at the end of the tunnel’


Aug 26, 2022

KARL Robinson hopes Oxford United will soon see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ after a tough opening month of the season.

The U’s are 19th in Sky Bet League One heading into tomorrow’s trip to Cheltenham Town after taking four points from their first five matches.

Robinson has not had a fully-fit squad at his disposal all season and eight players missed Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Crystal Palace through injury.

READ MORE: Where could Oxford United still strengthen before transfer window shuts?

Marcus McGuane, James Henry, Alex Gorrin and Elliott Moore went for scans this week, while Marcus Browne is due to see a specialist today about his knee injury.

Robinson was reluctant to share an update from the treatment room, but he is confident his squad will look healthier in the coming days.

“We’re not in a place we want to be in the league, but it’s not for the want of trying,” the U’s head coach said.

“We’re doing the right things, and we’ve had positive news with some of the scans this week. Josh Murphy isn’t far away either.

“You’ll start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel once we get through Saturday, with more players coming back fit and getting the players over the line to make us stronger in certain areas of the football pitch.”

United are yet to pick up a point on the road this season, suffering 1-0 defeats at Derby County and Bristol Rovers.

Robinson feels the U’s have been unlucky, though, and referred to his boyhood club to strengthen his claim.

He said: “I think our performances on the road have been very good, you’d argue we probably deserved a lot more than what we got.

“If we’d got what we deserved people would be saying ‘what a strong start’, and that’s with all the injuries as well.

“We’re not far off, and if we continue doing the right things we’ll win games of football.

“There’s no magic wand to this, and I always refer to the top level – you just have to see how hard Liverpool are finding it with the players they’ve got out. I don’t see why it’s any different for Oxford United.”

READ MORE: Ciaron Brown says Crystal Palace display must kick-start season

Cheltenham have also taken four points from their first five games, while they were thrashed 7-0 at home by Exeter City in the Carabao Cup first round.

The Robins took revenge with a 1-0 win over the Grecians at St James Park 11 days later, which Robinson views as a good sign.

He said: “It shows tremendous strength of character from him and that the players are willing to fight for him in the way they’ve responded.

“They’ve had some injuries to key players, we know it’s going to be a very honest game and tactically they’re very good.

“We need to do our job right and focus on ourselves. That’s got to be our mantra.”