PEP Clotet apologised to everyone who watched Oxford United's goalless draw at Rochdale after a difficult pitch made for a scrappy game.

Freezing conditions at Spotland raised questions about whether the game should have gone ahead.

While the U's manager reckoned referee Carl Boyeson had made the right call for the game to take place, it did little for the spectacle.

He said: "It was the right decision because it has to be something major not to play the game, but from the point of view of the football it wasn’t good.

"That’s why I’m so sorry for everyone who saw the game, because it was not the best quality." 

He added: "Both teams have made the best out of the conditions."

Mike Williamson was happy to grind out a hard-fought clean sheet, which extended United's unbeaten run in all competitions to four games.

The centre back said: "It’s deceptive. When you’re on the pitch it is soft in certain areas and you can lose your footing and it’s a bit of an ice rink.

"The main objective was to get a clean sheet and build off that, which we did.

"It was never going to be a free-flowing game and attractive football, which we have the players for, but we showed a different side today and we’re delighted with that."

Jack Payne was closely watched by Oliver Rathbone throughout and struggled to make his presence felt.

But the Huddersfield Town loanee felt there were reasons to be cheerful about the point.

He said: "I had someone on me the whole time, which was quite annoying. I wasn’t really able to get into the game as much as I would’ve liked.

"It wasn’t the nicest of games, but we’ve managed to dig deep and get a point away from home.

"Not a lot of teams manage to do that here, so we’re pleased overall."