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Hunt senses chance for Oxford United as quality slips
DAVID Hunt has called on Oxford United to take advantage of what he believes is a decline in quality across Sky Bet League Two this season.
The full back is well placed to assess the strength of the competition after winning promotion with Crawley Town, Brentford and Northampton Town.
Hunt is determined to add Oxford United to that list come May 3.
A feature of this season has been the unpredictability of the results, with no side able to make a decisive break clear at the top.
And Hunt thinks that even compared to a couple of seasons ago the standard is not as high.
“A lot of teams are beating sides you’d think would never lose to them and I think the quality is not as good anymore in this league,” he said.
“I think it’s like that in the majority of the leagues to be honest, so we need to capitalise on that.”
The 31-year-old believes the root of the problem comes with clubs at the top of the pyramid.
He said: “Football is changing all the time and a lot of the best young players are being taken by the bigger clubs.
“Even the lads I feel aren’t the best in the leagues are still getting taken by the bigger clubs.
“I feel in that sense maybe it’s changing a bit.”
Another factor which has not helped the quality of football in League Two is the problem with pitches.
After the fixture list was hit hard by freezing conditions last season, the headache for groundstaff this winter has been wet weather.
United’s last two games, at Morecambe and Newport County have been played on muddy, uneven surfaces.
It is not expected to be a problem at Rochdale tomorrow, with Spotland typically one of the best in the division, but Hunt admits it has an impact.
He said: “In my career this is the worst season for pitches I’ve ever played on.
“It definitely has an effect, if you’re a passing team.
“That’s no excuse though, two teams are playing on it, so we have to come up with a different way of playing.”