RYAN Clarke dismissed suggestions Oxford United ’s midweek derby win contributed to Saturday’s defeat, simply saying the side were not good enough, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.
The keeper struggled to know where to begin analysing the game after the 4-2 loss, which was the most goals he had conceded at home in a U’s shirt.
But the 30-year-old was clear on one thing – the 1-0 win over Swindon three days earlier was not a factor.
He said: “We did such a good job against Swindon and then to not get a result against Exeter we’ve let ourselves down.
“We can’t use it as an excuse, we were on a high from Wednesday, but as a group we weren’t good enough.”
Clarke was adamant a key refereeing decision went against them in the build-up to Exeter’s second goal.
The visitors were awarded a corner even though the goalkeeper claimed the ball was caught in play.
But he pointed out it would not have been controversial if the set piece had been defended properly.
“Whether or not they deserved to be two goals ahead I don’t know because the referee gave a corner and the ball’s not gone out of play,” he said.
“It has to go out of play fully, but we can’t make excuses, we still have to defend the corner but we switched off.”
The hosts got back into the game when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Damian Batt.
United boss Chris Wilder thought it was a fortunate decision, but the full back was in no doubt.
He said: “I thought it was a penalty, he came from the side and took me out.”
And the full back was as frank as Clarke in his assessment of the game.
He said: “We thought we created enough chances, but we just didn’t defend well as a team and they punished us for our mistakes.”