AFTER watching his Oxford United side pull off a cup upset in midweek, Chris
Wilder wants to see them hit the ground running when the npower League Two season kicks off tomorrow.
The U’s make the trip to Bristol Rovers with added optimism after knocking out League One side Bournemouth on penalties in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
A trip to the Memorial Stadium is always difficult, but Wilder is looking to build on the cup win and get away to a strong start.
The United boss said: “Everybody says the league only really settles down after ten games, but it’s an important period – there’s 30 points to play for.
“Why can’t we get off to a good start and put ourselves up there?
“That’s what we’ll be looking to do, there aren’t any guarantees at any part of the season as we well know, but it gives you momentum to kick on.
“We’d love to have a good start.”
Rovers were tipped as one of the favourites for promotion 12 months ago after relegation from League One, but they struggled to live up to expectations.
The Pirates finished in the bottom half, 11 points adrift of the U’s, but showed signs of coming to terms with the division under Mark McGhee towards the end of the season, when they scored 12
goals in their final two home games.
Wilder said: “They had good players last season and they’ve got good ones again – it’s a tough place to go and their aspirations will be promotion.
“Players, managers and supporters will all go into the first game of the season thinking this will be their year and Bristol Rovers and ourselves will be no different.
“I’m confident we’ve got good players for this league, we’re getting into a rhythm and while we know it’s a tough task going there and getting a result, they will know the same from us going there
on the first day.”
The U’s were tough to beat on their travels last season, with only two clubs in the division losing fewer games.
Wilder wants to see the same qualities resurface during the next nine months.
He said: “We’ll have to be tough, resilient and disciplined away from home all season, we showed we could do that last year and we have to do it again if we’re going to be successful.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we can be and if we play well we’ll be a tough nut to crack.”