Us 3 Northwich Victoria 1

Maybe it’s the new regime, maybe it was my decision to watch yesterday’s win from the upper tier of the South Stand. For weeks our form flummoxed me, though from my vantage point yesterday it became a bit clearer where the problems are.

As a team, we’re don’t press enough. Phil Trainer drifts around midfield, when clearing a corner Yemi has a tendency to wait for the ball whilst the opposition’s defenders attack it. St Ameie looked ponderous, though he improved. Anyone who’d never seen Matt Day before would have thought he’d won his place as a right wingback through a competition on the Internet.

Matt Day, of course, is no wing-back and with such a horrific injury problem it’s not easy to read anything into the first game of the Patterson era. It’s good to hear that he’s already spotted an insightful area for improvement. His feeling is that simple patient possession play will help unlock teams. This is possibly a marked departure from Smith’s style who wanted things done swiftly – which maybe over-estimated the ability of his players. Patience worked yesterday, though the opposition was sub-standard and in front of an impatient crowd, it may be more difficult to replicate in the future.

A win is a win; progress in the cup will help with confidence, finances and dignity. It may even help in the league if we can get a couple of league postponements it will buy a bit more time to get players back. There’s still much to be done, but this is as good a place to start a recovery as anywhere.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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