After another away win on Saturday - this time against the free-falling Torquay - Chris Wilder live post-match on BBC Radio Oxford managed to have a pop at the fans who sit behind his dug-out. He was clearly unhappy with the reaction he'd got the previous Tuesday night when replacing Andy Whing with Tony Capaldi with the team 4-0 down against Rotherham.
The manager's outburst sums him up, as the normally meek and mild-mannered fans who quietly sit in the SSL, were UPSET and ANGRY not by the fact that Andy Whing was coming off - and it is irrelevent if he was coming off due to injury, fitness, or 'saving him for Saturday' reasons - it was the fact he was being replaced on 60 minutes by another holding midfielder. A make-shift, promoted from fullback, no frills, no playmaker-skills, journeyman holding midfielder at that.
What the crowd wanted at 4-0 down at half time, was to see their beloved Oxford - thoroughly beaten and embarrassed by 15 minutes of non-existent defending - come out for the second half and give it a go. At least try to nick a goal quickly after the restart and, hey let's dream a little, put some pressure on the Rotherham goalmouth and get back into a match lost early doors by poor management tinkering. A few shots, a goal or two and some ENTERTAINMENT and reward for the poor PAYING souls who sat there having to watch the dross served up by Wilder and his management team. Shall we bring Beano, or any kind of attacking threat on? Shall we push up some extra bodies? NO, let's sit on a 4-0 loss and forget about having any shots on target. Of course, the poor souls in the Oxford Mail stand decided to make their own entertainment. A bare-chested conga and 45 minutes of The Great Escape tune (the most apt of season theme songs for Wilder) was considerably more diverting than the football being dished up on the pitch.
Wilder seemed to think that holding Rotherham to 0-0 in the second half was an achievement, despite the fact Rotherham missed a sitter of a fifth goal and at 4-0 up had absolutely no need or desire to push on or do anything! Steve Evans could have leisurely handed out cups of tea to his players on the pitch and it would have made zero difference. Pathetically, Wilder described Rotherham as a 'Championship side with Championship players' post-match - a remark that caused my Brighton-supporting Uncle to snort loudly and retort that 'Wilder has obviously never seen a Championship match in his life!'
I shall be at the Barnet match on Tuesday and will again take the opportunity to give Mister Wilder some constructive feedback, whether he likes it or not. When hardcore, loyal, faithful, diehard season-ticket supporters, who have followed Oxford through thick and thin and thin, start walking out after 50 minutes - when they usually NEVER leave early - there is a deep-rooted problem. The Kassam looked like the Emirates after 80 minutes! When you have the management turning round from their dugout to LAUGH at fans who have had enough of seeing their team let them down, then it's the final straw. That Wilder, Lewis and Melville clearly have no idea what they are doing at times - or how to change things when it's going against them - mean it's time for them to move on.
Either that or just play every match away.