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Oxford United's stand-in skipper delighted with win
A THRILLED Johnny Mullins felt Oxford United’s 3-1 win at Hartlepool United went a long way to making up for losing their unbeaten record.
The U’s bright start to the campaign came to an end with a 1-0 home defeat to Chesterfield in the previous game, but the reaction in the north east was impressive.
Mullins, United’s stand-in skipper in the absence of Jake Wright and Andy Whing, admitted the Chesterfield defeat still rankled, but thought the side could not have done more in response.
He said: “We spoke long and hard about this game being a real test of character.
“After losing last week, and the manner that we lost, we wanted to come back, put a good show on and get back on a winning track.
“We are still smarting from last week, but I think we put a few of the wrongs right.
“You never want to lose games, but it is going to happen across the season.
“So it’s all about how you bounce back and react to those defeats.”
The one source of irritation for the centre back was the lack of a clean sheet.
After controlling the first half, the U’s were on the back foot for a 15-minute spell after the restart, during which Luke James equalised.
Mullins said: “We spoke about it at half-time that they were going to come out and have a right good go.
“We haven’t dealt with that, but the only thing we can say is we have gone on again. “It’s disappointing and is something we will look at.
“You can never be 100 per cent pleased after a game of football, but winning 3-1 away from home is a great result.
“I personally think we’re a really good side and when we play like we did we are hard to live with.”
The visitors broke the deadlock in the fifth minute with a fine finish from Ryan Williams.
“The assist came from an unfamiliar source, with Michael Raynes showing a skilful turn on the edge of the Pools penalty area.
Mullins paid tribute to his centre half partner, who is hoping his touch gets wider recognition on Sky.
The U’s captain said: “Raynesy said he knew what he was doing and told me he was going to be on Soccer AM’s skill school, so hopefully someone sends it in, he showed great feet.
“I enjoy playing with him and I think in the last two games he has shown what a good player he is.”
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