Crawley Town 2 Us 0

The defeat to Crawley concludes the Busy Christmas Period ™ with four points, one goal and a question. Where now?

The play-offs seem a remote prospect to say the least. Relegation seems equally unlikely although another 17 more points will see us safe. The end of the season will conclude our Great Conference Experiment; the one which spent heavily on expensive 2 year contracts for good, but flawed players. It has failed.

Next season will inevitably see a significant change in direction; the likelihood is that a lot of players will leave. There is a clear indication that Patterson will put emphasis on a younger squad. This is no bad thing; a core of young, local lads, showing commitment and a little talent will help rebuild the fractured bond between players and fans.

Between now and then, aside from the points we need to avoid an unlikely relegation we have nothing to focus on. Eight or ten players are on death-row contract-wise; they will be playing in front of dwindling crowds of the angry and disenfranchised. There are no cup distractions, no derbies, no highlights in a grey and meaningless fixture list. There appears no way of ending this season on any kind of high.

Who knows, maybe Patterson will pull something out of the bag in the transfer window. A signing that will inspire a revival. Even if things do start to look up; it seems unlikely that anything is going to ignite a charge to the play-offs and promotion. Patterson will argue, rightly, what’s the point in being negative about it? We have to believe and play for promotion otherwise what’s the point. It’ll take quite something to get others’ to subscribe to this conviction.   

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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