LIAM Kelly admitted Oxford United’s failure to deal with Swindon Town’s tactical switch cost them dear in the derby.

The visitors were 1-0 down when manager John Sheridan brought on Tom Broadbent on the hour, deploying the defender in attack.

For the final 30 minutes United struggled to get out of their half as Swindon upped the pressure, with the substitute scoring the equaliser and playing a major part in the winner.

Karl Robinson: Oxford United played with fear in Swindon Town defeat

A goal had been coming long before Broadbent’s strike and Kelly felt the U’s played into their rivals’ hands.

He said: “We didn’t play well and after 65 minutes our gameplan the manager set out for us went out the window.

“We have to be responsible for that.

“We know going into the final 15 minutes if we’re 1-0 up they’re going to chuck bodies forward.

“They put the big man up front, so we had an idea how they were going to play.

“As much as the back four takes a lot of it, we have to look at ourselves to press the ball higher up and stop that service into the big man.”

The result was extra frustrating after United claimed four points from away trips to Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth in the previous seven days.

While a draw was not what the U’s wanted, Kelly agreed the defeat dashed an opportunity to gain some momentum.

He said: “They were two massive results against two big teams and we were going into this game full of confidence.

“Even when we conceded the first goal you’d always take a point – one point is better than zero.

“If we had come away with a point we’d have been disappointed, but you’d always take that.”

The midfielder had one of his best games for United and claimed the assist for Matty Taylor’s opener.

He said: “I felt I was involved in the game a lot.

“We knew how much it meant to the fans, so you had to give it that extra 10 per cent.

“It’s always nice when you can play well, but the main thing is the result.”