Dorchester 1 Yellows 3 (aet), Histon 5 Yellows 2, Yellows 1 Kidderminster 0

Boo! We won.

Have we become drunk on failure? We know it’s bad for us, but we’ve consumed so much in the last decade, we can’t live without it. The penalty on Tuesday was greeted with apoplexy, the final whistle with boos. We don’t know how to enjoy our football.

But we won, against a team in 4th, and rarely looked like surrendering the lead. Kidderminster were prettier, but it was all a bit ineffective.

Of course, most of the booing was an echo from Saturday’s hammering at Histon. First, however, some perspective. As unfashionable as Histon is, they are the best team in the division. Take the names and reputations out of the equation and a defeat to the best team in the division is not quite the shame it might be.

But that’s too simple; of course, we have our pride built from our glorious history. We don’t get beaten by teams like Histon. So while Darren Patterson grapples with creating a squad that can compete with next to no money, his biggest challenging is taming the beast that is The Club and all it stands for.

It’s not Patterson’s team that’s failing; it’s his ability to exert authority over the club. His repeated use of the phrase “I’ve got to be honest with you.” opens him to ridicule, his use of the transfer list as a ‘naughty step’ seems cack-handed.

A manager needs to demand the respect of not just his players, but the media and the fans. In this respect he seems a dead man walking; every home game is one to save his job, and when that happens it’s only a matter of time before he goes. After all, we will, inevitably, lose at home at some point – which is likely to be the tipping point.

Still, I say keep him, we’re in the cup following the win against Dorchester – where, again, we obsessed over the manner of the win rather than the win itself. This is Patterson’s lifeline at the moment.

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Oxblogger

Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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