Boss Karl Robinson pleased with overdue Oxford win
Oxford boss Karl Robinson said he felt more pleased for his players and the club’s supporters than relieved after a 3-1 win over Rochdale lifted them off the foot of Sky Bet League One.
Elliott Moore scored twice and on-loan QPR player Olamide Shodipo was also on the scoresheet as the U’s secured only their third league win of the campaign, having had recent home games called off because of Covid-19.
Robinson said: “I’m more pleased for the players and the fans than relieved, I would say. The staff here are working so hard with the injuries and other things going against us.
“I don’t think it was pretty but it was what we needed. It would have been nice to have had a clean sheet but I always say clean sheets aren’t about coaching they’re about luck, because you often need the opposition to miss.
“Elliott put his first one away nicely, and it was a great set-piece goal for his second.
“I didn’t feel we were in control of the game in the first half, and I said that to my assistant just before Rochdale equalised. But in the second we did well.
“I think Oxford United are a club that needs its fans and when there aren’t any people in this stadium, it’s not the same.
“It hurts when I hear comments like I did after our result at Fleetwood on Saturday, with people questioning whether I should be here, or whether the staff need changing.
“I thought Rochdale were good, and better than they were last season, so credit to Brian Barry-Murphy for that.
“These are difficult times, so I just hope we can give people in Oxford some happiness with this result in these tough times.”
Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy could only see positives from his team’s performance.
Matty Lund equalised from the penalty spot for Dale when Sam Long handled his shot.
And Jake Beesley squandered a glorious chance to put the visitors back in front but shot wide when Simon Eastwood spilled Jimmy Ryan’s drive.
But Barry-Murphy refused to be critical of anyone, and said: “I thought we were brilliant. I was in awe of us for the first 60 minutes. That was the best we have played all season.
“In the first half we were tremendous and in the second half we bounced back well after their second goal and we were in total control again.
“But to concede from a set piece for their third was disappointing. That was the only element of our play that was poor tonight.
“In all other aspects of our game we were good. We are as fit as I’ve seen us and we moved the ball very well.
“All of our midfield players were brilliant, and Jake Beesley’s work for the team was inspiring, the lads really appreciated that, so I don’t want to focus on the one chance he couldn’t quite take because he did well to get in there.
“We don’t need to focus on his chance but on our fine play.
“We’re seeing the evolution of this team and we are all really excited by it.
“Yes, the result is obviously disappointing, but it’s a vibrant and exciting young team we have, and we showed that this evening.”