What Oxford United manager Karl Robinson said about Bristol Rovers after defeat

The Gas ended their poor run of form and cranked up the pressure on Oxford United boss Karl Robinson

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Karl Robinson said that Oxford United rued their missed opportunities as Bristol Rovers struck three times to win convincingly at the Kassam Stadium.

The Gas' wait for a win is over as Scott Sinclair opened the scoring from the spot after Lamare Bogarde was fouled, before he set up Aaron Collins six minutes later for their second and then Luca Hoole netted the insurance goal that confirmed that the three points were coming home to the Memorial Stadium.

Sinclair's penalty and Collins 15th goal of the season came within six minutes of one another, and it was a crucial point after the hosts hit the post in the opening few moments of the game.

"I’m gutted, I understand and appreciate the fans position of where we currently are," said Robinson in an interview with Oxford United's media team.

"I don’t think anyone internally expected that to be any other way. We have to show strength of character whether that be me, the players or all of us. I think one of the criticisms I have at this moment in time is we start games in the first ten minutes really well. We look like we’re on the front foot, we don’t take our chances.

"You sort of start and think maybe we nick that first goal and everything can be oh so different and they are the ones struggling to find confidence.

"It’s then a penalty, I think Cameron Brannagan is arguably our best player for three or four consecutive seasons and it’s not something he means to do. At that moment I just feel we really get hurt. Our confidence gets drained out of us and we revert back to the type of what the recent back to what the recent run of results has been rather than stay on the front foot and stay positive."

"All of a sudden we become individuals and run around a bit too much trying to affect what we can’t affect. The second goal then goes in, the second attack, it’s exactly the same chance Kyle Joseph had. Their one goes in, our one goes to the other side of the post."

In the second period, Oxford searched for a response, and both Lewis Gibson and Lewis Gordon had to work together to thwart Gatlin O'Donkor's cross. Kyle Joseph had an opportunity to pull one back, but his shot was put wide of the target, and after a save from James Belshaw from James Henry's free-kick, the match only goes one way.

Both teams made several changes in and around the hour mark, and despite introducing both Ateef Konate and Tyler Goodrham, it' was he three substitutions that Rovers made that had the desired effect. Josh Coburn, Grant Ward and Antony Evans came on and the latter put in a delightful cross for Hoole to header home the third which put the game beyond any doubt.

As Hoole's third goal went in, the home supporters showed their displeasure towards the team, with more pressure mounting on the Oxford boss. He believed that the criticism was to be expected from his own fans and that he wants his team to find inspiration from somewhere.

"In the second-half then again in the first ten minutes we come on the front foot and have one or two half chances," said Robinson.

"The confidence then drains out of the team. Their third goes in, great delivery and the young kid attacked it really well and then from then on, the criticism is going to be part of what is expected, it is accepted and respected at the same time. I think from that point of view it is hurting. You’ve got to find that self confidence, belief and togetherness."