Oxford United boss: We're not play-off long-shots

The Oxford Times: Gary Waddock Gary Waddock

OXFORD United may be playing catch-up on the top seven for the first time this season, but Gary Waddock does not believe his side are outsiders to make the Sky Bet League Two play-offs.

With Fleetwood and Burton well clear and in pursuit of automatic promotion, it leaves two places up for grabs.

Barring a flawless finish from Dagenham & Redbridge, those will be filled from four hopefuls.

While Southend and York are in the box seats, the other pair – Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle – meet at Home Park tomorrow.

After staying among the leading pack all the way from August until last weekend, the U’s suddenly find themselves out in the cold.

While the gap is only a point, the form book tells a different story and suggests an uphill struggle to haul themselves out of a rut which threatens to undermine a season’s hard graft.

Waddock did not hold back in his criticism of United after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town, but rejected any talk of the odds being against them.

“I don’t look at it that way, why should we?” the head coach said.

“I look at it as going to Plymouth and trying to get a positive result.

“Underdogs or favourites doesn’t really come into it. It’s a case of going there and being really positive, playing without fear and going out there to enjoy yourself, because that’s what you’ve got to do.

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“We have a good group of players, so I don’t see us as underdogs, at all.

“We are going up against a very good team, but we’re a good side as well, so it should be a decent game.”

Tomorrow will mark three weeks since the former Wycombe and Aldershot boss was unveiled as Chris Wilder’s replacement.

He is still looking for not just a maiden win, but a first goal after three successive failures – two runs Waddock wants to break tomorrow.

“I didn’t think I’d be sitting here going into the fourth game waiting for the first goal,” he said.

“Players have to take responsibility for that and we’ve worked on attacking play, so hopefully that will come.”

An Oxfordshire Senior Cup defeat at Kidlington was hardly in the script either, but despite the inauspicious start, Waddock remains genuinely upbeat.

“I believe in the players, there’s no question of that, now they possibly have to start believing in themselves.”

Comments (5)

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9:53am Fri 11 Apr 14

Bumble08 says...

I know its hard for us fans to see a change in fortune for the lads but Waddock has now had a full week with the players training, this without the midweek games. I hope and pray that we get 3 points at the weekend and that kick starts our season again. Feed up of every season being there and then not making it. It's as if the players don't want to test themselves at a higher level, come on lads give the fans something to cheer. Not a short journey for us at the weekend make it worth our while!! Yellows!!
I know its hard for us fans to see a change in fortune for the lads but Waddock has now had a full week with the players training, this without the midweek games. I hope and pray that we get 3 points at the weekend and that kick starts our season again. Feed up of every season being there and then not making it. It's as if the players don't want to test themselves at a higher level, come on lads give the fans something to cheer. Not a short journey for us at the weekend make it worth our while!! Yellows!! Bumble08
  • Score: 13

3:32pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Oxokuba says...

Can't see us getting anything from tomorrows game. Plymouth will be up for it in front of a decent home crowd and they have a number of players that can score goals. This is a team that has beaten chesterfield and scored 4 at Fleetwood. I really can't see how we can stop this dramatic fall to mid table. Scoring one goal would be an achievement. Respect to those fans making the long trek to Devon I hope the players bloody well understand the sacrifices supporters make to watch their team.
Can't see us getting anything from tomorrows game. Plymouth will be up for it in front of a decent home crowd and they have a number of players that can score goals. This is a team that has beaten chesterfield and scored 4 at Fleetwood. I really can't see how we can stop this dramatic fall to mid table. Scoring one goal would be an achievement. Respect to those fans making the long trek to Devon I hope the players bloody well understand the sacrifices supporters make to watch their team. Oxokuba
  • Score: 4

3:39pm Fri 11 Apr 14

mervgould says...

I understand that half the Plymouth team are GOING TO PLAY BOWLS on Plymouth Hoe and only turn up at the Match if required.

Just in case Oxford score a goal I understand there are extra medical crew available for Players and Manager of Oxford to deal with Shock.
I understand that half the Plymouth team are GOING TO PLAY BOWLS on Plymouth Hoe and only turn up at the Match if required. Just in case Oxford score a goal I understand there are extra medical crew available for Players and Manager of Oxford to deal with Shock. mervgould
  • Score: 1

4:07pm Fri 11 Apr 14

dave from witney says...

After a few rather miserable weeks, I feel strangely optomistic over tomorrow. The early part of the game last week, there was an improvement. With a bit of pressure off the team as we are playing away, and a further week with the new manager, I reckon we could get a win.

I'm off down there in the morning with fingers crossed.
After a few rather miserable weeks, I feel strangely optomistic over tomorrow. The early part of the game last week, there was an improvement. With a bit of pressure off the team as we are playing away, and a further week with the new manager, I reckon we could get a win. I'm off down there in the morning with fingers crossed. dave from witney
  • Score: 0

8:27am Sat 12 Apr 14

MiddleBartonYellow says...

This oxford team don't look like they could win another game this season they are so out of form.
This oxford team don't look like they could win another game this season they are so out of form. MiddleBartonYellow
  • Score: 1

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