Karl Robinson ’embarrassed’ after Oxford defeat to Swindon
Oxford boss Karl Robinson said he was “embarrassed” by his side’s 2-1 defeat at home to Swindon and branded the way they conceded two late goals “disgusting”.
Swindon sent on defender Tom Broadbent up front for the last 25 minutes and he caused panic in the Oxford defence, leading to a remarkable turnaround after Matty Taylor had given the hosts an early lead.
Broadbent levelled in the 85th minute, turning the ball in when Matt Smith’s shot deflected into the air, before providing the assist for Tyler Smith’s winner.
“I’m embarrassed,” said Robinson. “I can only apologise, but it’s the players who need to take a look at themselves. They need to take responsibility sometimes.
“You make changes to try to improve it but you can’t legislate for some things, and their goals have come from a runner not tracking back, and a deflection, and from a goalkeeping error.
“I can’t understand why we dropped 20 to 30 yards deeper in the second half. We played with a fear and in the second half we were overrun at times in the middle.
“We missed a good chance to kill the game before half-time and I’ve said that too many times this season.
“We went backwards after the substitutions, but one or two were forced by injuries. If I had my time again I wouldn’t change what I did, but I did expect some of those who came on to do a lot better.”
Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood’s error continues a run of inconsistency.
Robinson admitted: “I’ve got a decision to make about the keeper.
“There are a lot of things I would like to say but I’ve got to be careful, because we’ve got to go again with another game against Ipswich on Tuesday and I will need to lift them for that.
“But this hurts. It’s a difficult one to take.
“We were off it in so many ways in a lot of our play. We were scared, and the goals were disgusting.”
Swindon boss John Sheridan explained the logic behind Broadbent’s attacking role.
“I felt the lack of a physical presence wasn’t helping us and wanted to do something about that, so that’s why I put Tom Broadbent up front,” he said.
“I didn’t have anyone else who could go on up there, at least I don’t think I did.
“I thought it would help Tyler Smith. I said to him when he went on to just go and compete.
“It’s a decision some managers make and it comes off, and some managers make and it doesn’t.
“Broadbent was unlucky not to play today anyway and that’s what you want from players who aren’t in the starting line-up – to go on and make an impression. I thought young Jack Payne also did very well when he went on.
“I’m so proud of the players. We know how much this derby game means to the fans and it was a great response from my players in the second half.”