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Wilder's praise as Oxford United deliver
CHRIS Wilder felt getting the basics right was more important than any tactical changes he made as Oxford United won 2-0 against Northampton Town.
The result was sealed by an outstanding three-minute spell just before half-time, when James Constable rounded off an excellent move to open the scoring and Danny Rose added a penalty.
It came at the end of an encouraging opening period for the home side, who went on to see the game out with little fuss.
With Jake Wright available again, but Michael Raynes and Johnny Mullins in excellent form of late, Wilder opted to field all three centre backs.
The change in the side’s shape from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 worked, but the U’s boss thought the key to the victory lay in improvements in the simplest aspects of the game, which had been lacking in the 2-0 defeat to Southend a week earlier.
He said: “Systems and formations don’t play a part if you don’t work hard, compete and pass the ball.
“They are the basic things we have talked about that we can do better.
“We have done that and, thankfully, scored at good times.
“We had to sustain a touch of pressure in certain parts of the second half, but at the same time were a constant threat going forward. It’s a good day for us.”
With Andy Whing also back after suspension, Wilder admitted the change in formation came down to wanting to get all his most experienced, reliable players in the starting line-up.
“We felt players had to fit into a system,” he said.
“I didn’t think anybody deserved to be left out.
“I wasn’t taking cheap and easy ways out, Michael Raynes has been excellent and it suited our players.
“We played well, but we understood they were always going to be a threat.”
Wilder reserved special praise for Constable, who caused problems for Northampton all afternoon.
The striker, known as Beano, took his tally for the club to 98 with an excellent finish at the end of an eye-catching move, before winning the penalty with a direct run.
“I thought Beano was back to when we first took over, rampaging, strong, linking it up and running down the side,” Wilder said.
“He got the penalty and scored the first – it will be hard to see a better goal all day in our league.
“We moved the ball really well, it was great skill from Dave Kitson and we really fancied Beano when he got into that position.”
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