Clarke stars as gritty Oxford United make a point for caretaker boss Lewis

The Oxford Times: Mickey Lewis encourages his Oxford United side Mickey Lewis encourages his Oxford United side

RYAN Clarke starred as Oxford United ground out a point to begin the post-Chris Wilder era with a goalless draw at Exeter City.

It was a gritty display from the U’s on a difficult pitch, which extended their impressive unbeaten away run to 12 games.

But as well as watching the side struggling to create chances, caretaker boss Mickey Lewis also headed back from Devon with a defensive headache after Michael Raynes was forced off with a hip injury.

Clarke was United’s best performer, tipping one Arron Davies shot on to the bar early on, before saving a point-blank header from Danny Coles in stoppage time to ensure a share of the spoils.

The goalkeeper was clear which was his favourite.

He said: “Definitely the second one, because it was in the last minute.

The Oxford Times:

  • Ryan Clarke saves Oxford again, fisting away this effort

“To be honest, he was only about four yards out and I didn’t think I had a hope in hell’s chance of saving it.

“I think it’s a great point away from home after all that’s happened this week.

“It’s been a really tough week mentally, but we stuck together and to come here and get a point I think is a great result.”

Raynes came into the side due to an injury to skipper Jake Wright, who is out for at least a month.

A collision in the first half caused the damage and Lewis is hoping the problem is not too serious.

He said: “I know the kid was in a lot of agony, he wanted to come out for the second half, but was in too much pain.

The Oxford Times:

  • Michael Raynes challenges Exeter keeper Artur Krysiak, but was forced off at half-time through injury 

“It’s disappointing and these things always seem to happen to players in the same position when you get injuries, but (David) Hunt went in there and did really well.”

He added: “I’ve enjoyed it (being in charge), we said to the lads that nothing changes, the set-up that Chris had is good and we are in that top five.

“You can always tinker with little things and we just want to keep it going.”

Comments (6)

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12:54pm Wed 29 Jan 14

onthebench says...

Chris Wilder not being offered a new contract because the Chairman wanted to ensure we had pretty much secured a play-off place was in some ways understandable. What is totally not understandable is the completely barmy decision not to renew Ryan Clarkes contract yet. If there is a better keeper in any of the lower divisions I have not seen him yet. If another club comes in for him (there would be a queue I think) we only have ourselves to blame. There are other players also nearing the end of their contract, but for goodness sake, sort the Ryan Clarke one out NOW. I feel like I am in the twighlight zone or on the set of a Monty Python film because this is beyond belief! If we had an average keeper in goal this season we would be mid table at least & would certainly have lost at Exeter yesterday. Sign him on - sign him on NOW. (3 year deal as a minimum I would suggest).
Chris Wilder not being offered a new contract because the Chairman wanted to ensure we had pretty much secured a play-off place was in some ways understandable. What is totally not understandable is the completely barmy decision not to renew Ryan Clarkes contract yet. If there is a better keeper in any of the lower divisions I have not seen him yet. If another club comes in for him (there would be a queue I think) we only have ourselves to blame. There are other players also nearing the end of their contract, but for goodness sake, sort the Ryan Clarke one out NOW. I feel like I am in the twighlight zone or on the set of a Monty Python film because this is beyond belief! If we had an average keeper in goal this season we would be mid table at least & would certainly have lost at Exeter yesterday. Sign him on - sign him on NOW. (3 year deal as a minimum I would suggest). onthebench
  • Score: 10

1:00pm Wed 29 Jan 14

hilliatman says...

Good result but after everything that's has happen this week how's the transfer market going for Oxford or was everything that happen this week just to disguise the non new activity going on with Oxford we need new blood no matter what to push on this season striker are not doing it and we can not just rely on them ...?????.
Good result but after everything that's has happen this week how's the transfer market going for Oxford or was everything that happen this week just to disguise the non new activity going on with Oxford we need new blood no matter what to push on this season striker are not doing it and we can not just rely on them ...?????. hilliatman
  • Score: 2

1:49pm Wed 29 Jan 14

colinharry says...

So the goalie saved us once again?????....our luck will soon run out I guess.
So the goalie saved us once again?????....our luck will soon run out I guess. colinharry
  • Score: -2

2:14pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Taff Ewe says...

Agree about Clarkey. we cannot let the manager situation determine the contrcts at OUFC. Anyone good enough could sign pre contracts with another club right now so Mr Chairman please do not dilly dally too long!

Something worth of note though is that to be unbeaten away from home going into February is nothing short of phenominal. I really think that it needs to be emphasised more and now who is to say that we coud not go the entire season? Luck always plays a part, even for the best teams in the world but you cannot fluke 5 months.

We do desperately need experienced players now though before it falls apart. Please bring two in before the next game!!!!!!!!!!
Agree about Clarkey. we cannot let the manager situation determine the contrcts at OUFC. Anyone good enough could sign pre contracts with another club right now so Mr Chairman please do not dilly dally too long! Something worth of note though is that to be unbeaten away from home going into February is nothing short of phenominal. I really think that it needs to be emphasised more and now who is to say that we coud not go the entire season? Luck always plays a part, even for the best teams in the world but you cannot fluke 5 months. We do desperately need experienced players now though before it falls apart. Please bring two in before the next game!!!!!!!!!! Taff Ewe
  • Score: 1

2:49pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

Sounds like most of us think similarly. This away run is going well and long may it continue but with the current injury list growing bigger by the game we are now struggling to put 11 experienced men on the field of play, new blood is needed to boost those guys giving their all for the club. The Chairman made it plain last week that he had made money available to sign new blood so where is it? I note that most of the decent strikers at this level have either moved or are settled so we have to look above and below, also we are now struggling to field a defence and several players have been released from various clubs on a free this week so maybe we could look at them, although most of them are probably not match fit! It's a difficult one but must be addressed QUICKLY. Come on Ian, get the cheque book out, surely if contacts were being made last week with CW and various clubs things can't be allowed to stagnate now he's gone. If you are serious about promotion the club needs bolstering now!
Sounds like most of us think similarly. This away run is going well and long may it continue but with the current injury list growing bigger by the game we are now struggling to put 11 experienced men on the field of play, new blood is needed to boost those guys giving their all for the club. The Chairman made it plain last week that he had made money available to sign new blood so where is it? I note that most of the decent strikers at this level have either moved or are settled so we have to look above and below, also we are now struggling to field a defence and several players have been released from various clubs on a free this week so maybe we could look at them, although most of them are probably not match fit! It's a difficult one but must be addressed QUICKLY. Come on Ian, get the cheque book out, surely if contacts were being made last week with CW and various clubs things can't be allowed to stagnate now he's gone. If you are serious about promotion the club needs bolstering now! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 1

3:16pm Wed 29 Jan 14

BigOx22 says...

I agree Clarke needs a new contract asap! I see CW is already bringing in strikers into NTFC. Well Ian you best get some new players in asap as CW isn't taking our players he is taking possible players he would have signed for us or we could be signing.
I agree Clarke needs a new contract asap! I see CW is already bringing in strikers into NTFC. Well Ian you best get some new players in asap as CW isn't taking our players he is taking possible players he would have signed for us or we could be signing. BigOx22
  • Score: -1

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