• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford United captain John Mousinho reflects on win over Burton Albion

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 5, 2022

JOHN Mousinho hailed an important win as Oxford United edged out Burton Albion to climb into the top half of Sky Bet League One.

The U’s had seven first-team players unavailable and were not at their best against a side who have collected just one point this season.

But goals from Cameron Brannagan and Kyle Joseph ensured Victor Adeboyejo’s 77th-minute strike proved nothing more than a consolation.

THE VERDICT: Free-flowing football less important while Oxford United navigate tough spell

United are yet to find their rhythm this term amid a string of injuries, so Mousinho was delighted at a hard-fought victory over a physical team that put them 11th in the table.

The captain said: “Those are the games you have to win.

“We’re hopefully going to have games where we blow sides away, like we have done in the past, and we’re going to have games where sides make it very difficult for us.

“Their league position is definitely false, I’m sure they’ll pick up and that was a tough game, so those ones are really important in the grand scheme of things.

“We felt very comfortable at 2-0, conceded the goal and made it difficult for ourselves, but we dug in at the end and managed to come away with three points.”

United have won three successive games in all competitions despite missing six players through injury against Burton, plus the suspended Billy Bodin.

Karl Robinson revealed before kick-off that Matty Taylor could be out for up to four weeks with a groin issue, while Steve Seddon was also unavailable because of an ankle problem.

It meant Mousinho started back-to-back matches for the first time since February 2020, with the centre back more commonly seen coaching on the touchline since undergoing knee surgery in January 2021.

The 36-year-old said: “Last season I was always ready to play and I’ve still got that hunger and desire.

“I’m always nudging the manager gently, I never knock on his door or say anything other than I’m there if need be.”

Mousinho added: “Whether it’s the coaching aspect or the fact I’ve played so much football, I definitely think the game becomes easier in your head when you get older. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t necessarily match up to that.

“That’s one of the things about being an athlete as you get older, you have to start using your experience and thankfully as a centre-half you can maybe do that more than other positions.

“It’s great from both sides, as sometimes when you’re a coach the first reaction is that the players are doing you over, but you go out there and remember it’s a really difficult game and really hard to win three points.”