The wrap: Blackpool 0 Oxford United 1

Following a turbulent week, a win. And not just a win, an away win that takes us out of the relegation zone. Go figure.

The defeat to Accrington was very real although according to OxVox the winding up from Firoka may be nothing of the sort. This suggests the leak of what appears just a threat was an attempt to embarrass the current regime rather than anything.

It worked; some fans turned their social media profile pictures upside-down in protest. While hardly an organised political movement, the precise purpose of the protest wasn’t clear. If the fictitious winding up order was the tipping point, you could even read it as demonstrating a degree of sympathy for Firoz Kassam and his unpaid bills.

That might be facetious, but the point stands; if you’ve turned your profile upside-down, what will cause you to turn it back? The removal of Karl Robinson? The departure of Tiger? Avoiding relegation? Winning promotion?

The first step in addressing any problem is recognising there is one. The protest may simply be an acknowledgement that things aren’t right. The next part is defining a solution to that problem. On that front, it’s the expectations are less clear.

Karl Robinson was criticised for saying that the fans shouldn’t turn on Tiger. Criticising Robinson is a habit for some and the response suggested he was pretending things were fine. Read the article and he admits there have been, and are, problems. But what he’s saying is that we shouldn’t mix criticism of what has happened with criticism of Tiger’s intent and will to make it work.

This is a fair point; do fans believe that Tiger has bad intentions? Despite everything, I still think his intentions are for the club to succeed. The OxVox statement suggested that there has been £1million of unexpected expense this season, giving some indication of the complexity he’s encountered.

In the meantime, the season rolls on, which is one of the biggest challenges of dealing with these issues between August and May.

Jordan Graham’s free-kick, which was bordering on world class, won it and took us out of the relegation zone. Graham may well be the difference between relegation and survival this season. Despite injury fears, he’s hit the road running, not only adding a new dimension to our play, but allowing people like Marcus Browne recovery time.

By taking us out of the relegation zone, the result hopefully reminds us that despite everything, relegation is far from a certainty and there is still lots to fight for.

In Game 3 of the last Baseball World Series, the LA Dodgers took 18 innings to beat Boston Red Sox 3-2. In baseball, a pitcher will make about 100 pitches before losing form and being replaced. The Red Sox worked their way through their pitchers for the game and the pitchers they’d planned to use for next game the following day. Their plans for the series appeared wrecked, putting what had been a record-breaking season at jeopardy.

At the end of the marathon, coach Alex Cora was asked what his strategy for the rest of the series was. His response was simple; it was as it had been all year – to win the next game. Amidst all the catastrophising; perhaps we should take a similar approach.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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