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Wilder sticks to his guns
Chris Wilder stressed the importance of continuity in defending his team selection following Oxford United’s midweek defeat.
There was some surprise over the decision to play Michael Raynes ahead of Johnny Mullins at centre half against Dagenham & Redbridge, who ran out 3-2 winners in npower League Two at the Kassam Stadium.
Wilder was hugely disappointed with the goals they conceded, saying: “We looked dodgy all night at the back.”
Raynes had an uncomfortable game, although he was certainly not the only one in a yellow shirt to disappoint.
He returned to the side last Saturday, replacing the imp-ressive Mullins, who was ineligible to play in the FA Cup as part of his loan deal.
United went on to win 2-0 at Barnet, with the back four looking solid all afternoon.
Wilder hinted changes could be made for this weekend’s game against Torquay United, but felt for Dagenham he had to keep faith with those who had performed at Underhill.
The U’s boss said: “I don’t think anybody deserved to be left out after the performance at Barnet, but I’ll watch this game through a couple of times because I’ve got to pick the right side for Saturday.
“As always when you win you deserve to keep the same team, I need to show a bit of continuity and consistency.”
It is the second time in a fortnight United have lost while arguably not fielding their strongest available back four.
Last month Jake Wright served a suspension, with Raynes and Mullins combining well in a 5-0 win against Accrington Stanley.
As a result, the skipper was only named on the bench for the following game, which was lost 2-0 at Rochdale.
Wright, who had no complaints about having to wait for his chance, agrees with the policy.
He said: “We had a good result and everyone played well against Barnet.
“It’s difficult for the gaffer – if someone comes in, plays well and then gets dropped what are they supposed to do?”