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Oxford United boss Wilder rues mad 15 minutes
CHRIS Wilder bemoaned a “mad 15 minutes” as Oxford United were taken apart 4-0 by Rotherham United last night.
All the goals came between the half hour mark and the interval, leaving the U’s shell-shocked.
It all came after a solid opening from the home side, who were attempting to claim a third successive win against an automatic promotion favourite in the space of eight days.
They created an excellent chance to take the lead, but after it was missed, the game rapidly slipped out of reach.
Wilder said: “We had the best chance with Sean Rigg and then a couple of balls are cleared, we don’t secure them and all of a sudden in a mad 15 minutes we’re four down.
“It’s an emotional game and it’s an emotional night for everybody. “We’re deeply disappointed and we’ve let a lot of people down, we understand that.
“We’ve played a side with Championship players and when you give them opportunities they are going to punish you.”
He added: “Rotherham are a better side with better players than us and we made it easy for them. “They took full advantage and that is the game in a nutshell.”
Rotherham struck through David Noble, Kari Arnason, Johnny Mullins and Ben Pringle between the 30th and 44th minutes.
United midfielder Andy Whing, who returned to the starting line-up, admitted it was a damage limitation exercise in the second half.
He said: “It’s tough to go in 4-0 down at half-time, you’'ve got to come out in the second half and dig in.
“You don’t want to get beat (by) five, six or seven.
“It’s obviously a tough evening, but we've got to dust ourselves down.”
United supporters were surprisingly vocal in their support in the second half, but the final whistle brought boos from the majority inside the Kassam Stadium.
Wilder had not previously lost a home league game by more than two goals during his time as United manager.
He said: “We all have to take that criticism and everything that goes with getting beat 4-0 at home, because that’s the biggest defeat we’ve had at home I think in my time here.
“It’s hurting me and hopefully it’s hurting the players.
“But a week is a long time in football, as we have seen, and we have to make sure we put it right on Saturday against Torquay.”