Karl Robinson says Oxford United's forward players 'need to do more'

·2-min read
Karl Robinson after full-time at the Memorial Stadium Picture: Darrell Fisher
Karl Robinson after full-time at the Memorial Stadium Picture: Darrell Fisher

KARL Robinson says Oxford United must improve going forward after his side fell to another 1-0 defeat away from home.

The U’s were edged out by Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium courtesy of John Marquis’ 34th-minute strike.

Neither side created many opportunities in the lunchtime heat, with United registering two shots on target to the hosts’ three.

Read the match report here

The closest they came was a Sam Long header that hit the crossbar in the first half, while James Henry nodded a golden chance over the top after the break.

It left Robinson frustrated as the U’s followed their 1-0 defeat at Derby County on the opening day of the season with another loss on the road.

United’s head coach said: “It’s something we have been working on, losing Josh (Murphy), Yanic (Wildschut) and Sam (Baldock) are big players.

“The freakiness of them not being here is beyond belief in some ways and they make a massive difference.

“It (Long's chance) is a tremendous header, the set-play worked and it hits the underside of the bar and drops to one of them.

“Jamo is six yards out with no-one near him and it’s a big, big miss.

“That’s soul-destroying for us, because we deserved a lot more than what we got.”

Robinson confirmed before the game that Murphy could be out for up to four weeks as he nurses a hamstring issue.

Asked if United need more reinforcements at the top end of the pitch, he said: “Our players need to do more.

“I still have belief that we need one more, with the players we’ve got out we’re going to need that back-up.

“Young Tyler (Goodrham) is almost the one you’re turning to at the moment.”

Robinson was also questioned on whether he was tempted to keep Matty Taylor on instead of replacing him with Kyle Joseph in the 64th minute, but simply answered ‘no’.

The only goal of the game came from a set-piece, with Sam Finley clipping the ball over the top from a short free-kick. Aaron Collins helped it past Simon Eastwood for Marquis to open his account for Rovers.

Robinson added: “We got caught with a creative set-play, which we’ve spoken about. That’s the infuriating thing.

“They had a great shot from 30 yards (from Finley) and Easty made a great save, but what else was in the game?

“Away from home on a slow, sticky pitch, the water break slowed things down, but I don’t think at any stage we felt under pressure.

“We’ve been here before when it’s been the reverse of that, but it stands for nothing.

“We need more at the top end of the pitch.”