Clarke given backing by Oxford United boss

Herald Series: Ryan Clarke applauds the fans after United's win over Wimbledon Ryan Clarke applauds the fans after United's win over Wimbledon

Chris Wilder has backed Ryan Clarke to come back stronger after dropping his first-choice goalkeeper for the last two games.

The 30-year-old has been virtually an ever- present since joining Oxford United in 2009, becoming one of their most important figures.

But the goalkeeper was relegated to the substitutes’ bench last weekend, with manager Wilder feeling his form had slipped since the start of the season.

Wayne Brown played in goal for the 3-1 defeat at Rotherham and kept his place against AFC Wimbledon.

But a groin injury to the veteran stopper allowed Clarke to come off the bench and he went on to make an outstanding save to deny Will Antwi late on.

The warm reception from the home fans will have done wonders for his confidence, while the save secured a 3-2 win for United which ended a six-game losing run.

Wilder admitted he thought Antwi had scored, before reiterating Clarke’s pivotal role in the side.

He said: “Without being clever, Ryan was floundering at Northwich Victoria and he’s come here and been brilliant.

“He’s been different class, but sometimes you just feel that maybe he needs a bit of a breather because there were goals going in left, right and centre.”

He added: “I didn’t think Ryan had had a decent start to the season, but he took it on the chin and got on with it – he knows he’s my No 1.

“To be fair, it wasn’t just him, and if we had more bodies available, maybe I would have made more changes than I have been able to.

“But Ryan just possibly needed a break, it was a shorter break than he might have expected, but he came on and helped us get a result.”

The victory helped relieve some of the pressure on the squad after a painful month.

Clearly, Wilder would have preferred to avoid the woeful sequence, but the U’s boss felt there was something to be gained which will have a lasting impact.

He added: “I said at half- time this is a big part of the players’ careers because not a lot of those young guys have experienced runs like this.

“People like Alfie (Potter), (Simon) Heslop, (Deane) Smalley and (Tom) Craddock have been in pretty much winning teams here.

“I told them I believed we would go on and win the game, but it was also important for their careers.

“I thought they showed tremendous spirit.”

Comments (6)

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10:37am Thu 4 Oct 12

BigOx22 says...

Clarke is a good keeper but he needs someone who can push him for a place in the team. Brown is not brilliant and will not push Clarke on a regular basis for a starting spot. Still bemused why Beano is sat on the bench all the time. If Wilder doesn't wanna play him then why didn't we sell him and used the money to be Clayton Donaldson or Lee Holmes.
Clarke is a good keeper but he needs someone who can push him for a place in the team. Brown is not brilliant and will not push Clarke on a regular basis for a starting spot. Still bemused why Beano is sat on the bench all the time. If Wilder doesn't wanna play him then why didn't we sell him and used the money to be Clayton Donaldson or Lee Holmes. BigOx22
  • Score: -3

11:51am Thu 4 Oct 12

thame-yellow says...

beano did not come on because cw had to use all his subs on injured players agian raynes,cox,brown coyy in wilder we trust
beano did not come on because cw had to use all his subs on injured players agian raynes,cox,brown coyy in wilder we trust thame-yellow
  • Score: 1

2:05pm Thu 4 Oct 12

BigOx22 says...

thame-yellow wrote:
beano did not come on because cw had to use all his subs on injured players agian raynes,cox,brown coyy in wilder we trust
Yes I understand that but he always causes defenders trouble yet he is never played. I am sure he would have come on if we didn't get the injuries. But he has been a regular in the team until the transfer speculation over the last season. In Wilder I trust too but we aint scoring enough goals. Also Beano is a defender by trade before he became a striker so he is always good for defending corners and free kicks

COYY.
[quote][p][bold]thame-yellow[/bold] wrote: beano did not come on because cw had to use all his subs on injured players agian raynes,cox,brown coyy in wilder we trust[/p][/quote]Yes I understand that but he always causes defenders trouble yet he is never played. I am sure he would have come on if we didn't get the injuries. But he has been a regular in the team until the transfer speculation over the last season. In Wilder I trust too but we aint scoring enough goals. Also Beano is a defender by trade before he became a striker so he is always good for defending corners and free kicks COYY. BigOx22
  • Score: 2

3:31pm Thu 4 Oct 12

Joe1 says...

No choice as Brown is injured. Perhaps he could play JC on goal?? As he does not play him up front. With such a small squad, he must fill gaps with he has available. It will be interesting on Saturday.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
No choice as Brown is injured. Perhaps he could play JC on goal?? As he does not play him up front. With such a small squad, he must fill gaps with he has available. It will be interesting on Saturday. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS" Joe1
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Thu 4 Oct 12

Beau champ mummy says...

Not happy with Clarke think gene should go into loan market
Not happy with Clarke think gene should go into loan market Beau champ mummy
  • Score: -3

8:57pm Thu 4 Oct 12

karatavuk says...

Dropping Clarke was a huge mistake by Wilder.

Luckily Brown was injured and Clarke came on to save the match with a great save near the end.

A bit of luck saved Wilder's job.
Dropping Clarke was a huge mistake by Wilder. Luckily Brown was injured and Clarke came on to save the match with a great save near the end. A bit of luck saved Wilder's job. karatavuk
  • Score: 1

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