06 March 2021

Karl Robinson lauds Jack Stevens for helping Oxford earn deserved point

06 March 2021

Oxford boss Karl Robinson felt Jack Stevens’ brilliant late penalty save gave his team a deserved point in their 0-0 draw with Charlton.

Stevens flung himself to divert Ronnie Schwartz’s spot-kick over the bar in stoppage time after Alex Gorrin tripped Jayden Stockley.

Robinson said: “Seeing it again, it’s an even better penalty save than I first thought.

“Jack’s riding a perfect wave at the moment, and is part of a group that is making us a very competitive team.

“The story will be of the missed penalty, but that takes away from what I thought was a good performance from my players.

“We looked really bright and really energetic and when you think Charlton came down from the Championship last year, and we’re in the middle of a mini injury crisis, it’s great credit to my players.

“If that’s a penalty I wish the ref would tell me why he didn’t award one for an identical challenge of Olamide Shodipo in the first half.

“When I asked him about it, he said that one was just a coming together of players. But they were identical. It just shows the inconsistency.

“I asked for desire today and my players gave me everything.

“In the last five games we’ve been playing the big boys and nobody’s walked over us, despite us having so many players out.

“I’m not disappointed with a point in the end, though I did think we were the better team.”

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer did not blame Schwartz for the penalty miss.

Bowyer said: “I’ve got mixed emotions really.

“The game’s crazy, isn’t it? One minute you’re so high, then so low…the emotions are up and down.

“I thought the lads played really well. They fought, they battled, defensively they looked solid again.

“I’m obviously disappointed because that’s a big opportunity to win the game and get three points, but their keeper’s paid to make saves and he’s made one there.

“But yes, it’s disappointing because it was virtually the last kick of the game. But it would maybe have been harsh on them had we nicked it.”

Bowyer said he would be happy for experienced Danish forward Schwartz to take Charlton’s next penalty as well.

“Ronnie has taken a lot of penalties wherever he’s been and he’s a very, very good penalty taker,” he added.

“He took a good pen, and it was a good save.

“I would have backed him, and if there was another one tomorrow, I’d say to him again, if he’s on the pitch, ‘Ronnie go and take it’, because I trust him.

“He normally puts it higher than he did this one, he normally puts it in with pace in the top corner.

“People miss penalties. Ronnie’s unfortunate to miss one today because it was a good one, but sometimes you have to say it’s a good save.

“It’s cost us a couple of points but I’m not going to blame Ronnie for that, it’s a good save.

“We were very solid. If I had one criticism today it was that we didn’t take enough care in the final third.

“We won the ball in such good areas, we set our traps, we won the ball, it was just that next pass, or the second pass was sloppy and poor. We were better than that.

“Too many times we were just sloppy with the final ball, but overall it was a good solid away performance.”

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