CHRIS Wilder described Oxford United as “naive” in losing to Exeter City, as they repeated the same mistakes which cost them in the
previous league game.
The U’s crashed to a 4-2 defeat at home despite dominating for long spells.
And to compound their misery, striker James Constable was sent off late on after picking up two bookings in the space of as many minutes.
The defeat was a similar pattern to the 3-1 loss at York a week earlier, when the U’s were culpable for all of the goals they conceded and failed to make the most of their own chances.
Wilder was left to reflect on a setback which he felt again was more down to his side’s mistakes than moments of brilliance from the opposition.
The United boss said: “It’s incredible – that’s two Saturdays on the bounce and we can’t make it three.
“I think they had about five chances all day and scored four, which isn’t a bad ratio.
“It was exactly the same last week. In the last two games I think we beat ourselves. “We’ve let poor goals in, we’ve been a little naive and we have to get the mix right between being pleasing on
the eye and being effective.
“I want to play through teams and keep the ball, but the first goal is very important and you have to be switched on defensively.”
He added: “Look at the goals – (Michael) Raynes got turned, Jake (Wright)’s got rolled, Damian (Batt) got done on a header in the box and they broke away off the back of a poor decision by Chappy
“It’s not that we’ve been cut open.”
Wilder was pleased with the spirit his side showed to come back from three goals down to make it 3-2.
Even his opposite number Paul Tisdale admitted to feeling worried, but the game swung on a miss from Deane Smalley.
Exeter quickly scored a fourth goal and United’s challenge was halted by Constable’s red card eight minutes from time.
Wilder felt aggrieved about the first of the two bookings, which came within the space of two minutes, and went into the referees’ room after the game to complain.
He said: “When somebody whacks you from the front and somebody whacks you from behind and then you make contact with them, there’s three people involved, not just one. “If he went and just hit him
off the ball then you’d understand it. “Constable made a bit of contact, but I think you have every right to when he’s getting bashed. “The second one they tell me he tripped him off the ball, so I
suppose that’s a daft thing to do when you’re on a yellow card.”