MATTY Taylor hopes Saturday’s alarming first half against Rotherham United could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Oxford United in the long run.

Karl Robinson’s side have not had long to regroup after the 3-1 defeat, where all the Millers’ goals came before the break.

Another promotion rival, Ipswich Town, visit the Kassam Stadium tonight, but Taylor is optimistic the U’s have a plan to avoid a repeat from the weekend.

The striker said: “We were bitterly frustrated and disappointed with the manner of the defeat, but I’m hoping it’s a good thing in the long term.

“It’s given us a kick up the backside and has pointed to a few things that we can get a lot better at.

“Maybe we weren’t doing it, but we were scoring a few and maybe getting away with it.

“I think it’s a good thing we can learn as a group about what we can do better collectively.

“Hopefully we can start that tonight.”

Despite the setback, the U’s remain firmly in the pack challenging at the sharp end in Sky Bet League One.

A victory would see them leapfrog Ipswich, who have not visited Oxford since 1998, and put Robinson’s men just two points off top spot.

Alex Gorrin said: “We didn’t want to get beaten against Rotherham, but it happens.

“The road to achieve something is not straight, you have ups and downs, that’s why it’s so hard to get promoted. It happened, we’ve put it behind us.”

Marcus Browne and Nathan Holland, who led the second-half fightback as substitutes on Saturday, are pushing for starts.

Ipswich ended a 12-game winless run with a 4-1 victory at home to Accrington Stanley.

It was the first time Paul Lambert had named the same side across successive league games this season and he is unlikely to make many changes tonight.


Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Long, Dickie, Mousinho, Ruffels, Gorrin, Baptiste, Browne, Holland, Taylor, Fosu, Mackie, Agyei, Sykes, Hall, Kelly, Moore, Stevens.

Ipswich Tn: from Norris, Chambers, Wilson, Woolfenden, Edwards, Huws, Downes, Garbutt, Judge, Norwood, Jackson, Keane, Dozzell, Bishop, Skuse, Kenlock, Donacien, Holy.