JOE Rothwell admitted Oxford United were asking for trouble with the way they sat back after taking an early lead against Bristol Rovers.

The midfielder scored with less than two minutes on the clock, but from there United became bogged down.

Rovers’ final ball let them down in the first half, but the pressure grew after the break and the visitors got the win they deserved with goals from Kyle Bennett and Ellis Harrison.

Rothwell said: “We said coming back out for the second half ‘try to start how we did in the first’, but it wasn’t to be.

“We seemed to be on the back foot for quite a lot of the game and you can’t expect them to keep throwing the ball in the box and keep a clean sheet.

“I think the first goal we could’ve easily stopped. We switched off from a free-kick and they punished us for it.”

He added: “We caused it ourselves.

“The service up to Wes (Thomas) wasn’t the best, so it was hard for him to make it stick and then it was coming straight back at us.

“It was a lot of pressure on the back four.”

Rothwell limped off in the second half, but fortunately it turned out to only be cramp and he may be fit to face Rotherham United tomorrow night.

The early goal was his fifth of the season, but the first since September.

“It’s been quite a while,” he said.

“It was nice to get on the scoresheet and I’ve always wanted to add more goals to my game. Hopefully I can keep doing that.”