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Same old story as Oxford United dominate, but pick up nothing
CHRIS Wilder admitted it was the same old story as Oxford United lost 2-0 at home to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
The visitors carried little attacking threat, but went ahead ten minutes into the second half after Jake Wright conceded a penalty.
United hit back with a lengthy spell of pressure, carving out several good chances to level the scores.
Frustratingly they went begging and Rovers struck again in the final minute to seal the victory.
It was a similar story in United’s previous game, a 1-0 defeat at Southend United.
Wilder thought his side had played just as well in games won over the Christmas period, but the difference was the composure at both ends.
The U’s boss said: “As I keep saying, it’s about the big moments.
“You need Jake to make the right decision in the only time really that we’ve been tested defensively in the whole game.
“That was their only real chance and in the second half I was just looking to my right all the time because we created chance after chance.
“Jake’s mistake gets punished, but there are times when we get in and around the box we don’t pick the right pass out or make the right decision.
“It’s not unlucky, because that costs us just as much (as Wright’s mistake).
“Possibly that’s the reason why you pay big money for the top players, because they make the right decisions and decide tight games.
“That was just as good a performance for me as we had against Cheltenham, Exeter and Wimbledon.
“I can’t be too critical of 90 per cent of what we’ve done, but it’s what’s happened at both ends that has yet again let us down.”
The defeat saw United slip to 15th, while the gap to the top seven widened to eight points.
While it was a blow, Wilder is adamant his side can recover in the final 16 games to force a way into the play-offs - starting at home to Fleetwood Town tomorrow night.
He said: “One thing the players can’t do is feel down about it.
“We have to stick with them, it’s a game knocked off, that’s all it is.
“There’s still a target for us, it’s up at the training ground.
“There’s certainly more life left in all of us and if they keep producing like that it has to turn.”
Justin Richards will be assessed today after being forced off injured following a heavy collision on Saturday.