KARL Robinson questioned the desire of his Oxford United players after they produced an insipid display in defeat to Crewe Alexandra.

The visitors’ 2-0 victory was only confirmed in the 92nd minute, but they were worthy winners.

United were bossed in a first half where Mikael Mandron scored a fortuitous opener.

And although the hosts had more of the game after the break, they created precious little on a night where there was little cohesion between the players.

Robinson was calm after the game, but his assessment of the game was damning for a side which stayed rooted in Sky Bet League One’s bottom four.

“Sometimes when you’re really angry you keep yourself in that moment rather than getting yourself to that boiling point – you don’t want to do something or say something you regret, in the changing room or the media,” he said.

“Sometimes there are things you want to say but you have to hold that back in respect for the players.

“Although right now I don’t think there’s enough showing pride or desire playing for the football club.”

Robinson’s problems mounted late on, when Sam Winnall – who has been gradually built up towards fitness over the past few weeks – came off with a hamstring injury.

It is too early to tell for how long the striker will be sidelined, but it was another blow.

The knock came after United had used their three substitutes, so they finished the game with ten men.

The U’s boss took the unusual step of asking most of his backroom staff to leave the changing room after the game as he tried to get answers.

He said: “I just left me and three of the staff to speak to the players.

“I feel the support staff are giving everything they possibly can to give the players what they need, but I don’t think it’s reciprocated.

“I asked the players if it’s something we’re doing, is it something we need to change and nothing came back.”

Midfielder Alex Gorrin had no complaints about the result, the U’s seventh league defeat in ten games.

He said: “It was a bad performance in the first half.

“The second half I thought we did a bit better, but it wasn’t good enough.

“We’re all hurting in the changing room.

“We need to put it right.

“I know all the fans will be disappointed and we are as well.”