Oxford United caretaker searching for order among chaos of 'mad' league

Witney Gazette: Mickey Lewis is hoping Oxford United can inflict damage on a promotion rival by winning at Rochdale tomorrow Mickey Lewis is hoping Oxford United can inflict damage on a promotion rival by winning at Rochdale tomorrow

IF ANY gamblers didn’t have the message before, Tuesday night should have done the trick – avoid Sky Bet League Two at all costs.

An unpredictable competition grows more chaotic by the day and was brought into even sharper contrast in midweek.

Mickey Lewis watched relegation-threatened Torquay United earn a 1-1 draw against promotion hopefuls Burton Albion.

At the final whistle, the Oxford United caretaker manager raced back to his car to hear the other results.

When they were read out on the radio, he was not surprised by the erratic scorelines.

Aside from Chesterfield 4-1 demolition of Cheltenham Town, the next five highest-ranked teams in action all dropped points.

“To be honest, I haven’t know a season like it,” Lewis said.

“It’s been a mad league this year really with the way everyone is taking results off each other.

“There are normally a couple of teams running away with it, like Gillingham did last year.

“This year no-one is, you couldn’t have predicted Fleetwood losing 4-0 at home (to Plymouth).

“Southend are a really good side, but haven’t won in about seven games. Chesterfield had a great result on Tuesday, but lost at Wycombe last weekend.

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“Every point is precious.”

There are still two months of the season remaining, but the promotion landscape appears to shift almost by the minute.

The U’s, like all those in the leading pack know an automatic promotion place is up for grabs to whoever can string a handful of good results together.

If any victory between now and May will feel significant, then beating a promotion rival in the process will be massive.

United have ample opportunity to do just that, as they face every other side in the top eight.

The series of duels begins tomorrow with the visit to Rochdale, who leap-frogged them into the top three with victory over Exeter City last weekend.

Lewis, who fumed over a costly late goal which saw United pegged back to draw 1-1 at Morecambe, called for an upbeat mood from the moment the players turned up for training on Monday morning.

The squad answered his call and the caretaker boss is raring to get stuck into what will almost certainly be a decisive sequence of games.

He said: “No-one is nervous about it, everyone has been really upbeat this week and looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s in our own hands. What’s a tough game with the way the league is?

“Northampton, Wycombe, Bury all won in the week, so going anywhere is a hard game.

“You may as well play the top teams, because at least if you win they’re not getting the points. They’re really significant games.”

Lewis also pointed out the situation was no different for the opposition.

He said: “They will be in the same position as us.

“I never quite understood it when people talked about an old fashioned six-pointer, but it is like that.”

Comments (12)

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10:12am Fri 28 Feb 14

baldynoseaside says...

which bit of six pointer does he not understand do you think?
which bit of six pointer does he not understand do you think? baldynoseaside
  • Score: -8

10:32am Fri 28 Feb 14

train passenger says...

A loss this weekend probably means the end of automatic promotion chances, with the schedule that is coming up. So yes, it is still in our hands but not much longer.
A loss this weekend probably means the end of automatic promotion chances, with the schedule that is coming up. So yes, it is still in our hands but not much longer. train passenger
  • Score: -8

10:43am Fri 28 Feb 14

adlibber says...

Now Lewis sounds like the Wilder ventriloquist dummy same daft cliches same worn out excuses. A win tomorrow followed by several more on the bounce and Lewis can carry on with his incomprehensions - draws are no use if we want a top 3 spot - we will not win play offs.
Now Lewis sounds like the Wilder ventriloquist dummy same daft cliches same worn out excuses. A win tomorrow followed by several more on the bounce and Lewis can carry on with his incomprehensions - draws are no use if we want a top 3 spot - we will not win play offs. adlibber
  • Score: -11

11:37am Fri 28 Feb 14

Joe1 says...

Yet again, the results have gone in our favour. We MUST take that & MUST use them to our advantage. Rochdale will be a really tough nut to crack. With experienced players we now have(providing they all fit) we can do it.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
Yet again, the results have gone in our favour. We MUST take that & MUST use them to our advantage. Rochdale will be a really tough nut to crack. With experienced players we now have(providing they all fit) we can do it. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS" Joe1
  • Score: 15

12:16pm Fri 28 Feb 14

BigYellowScarf says...

adlibber wrote:
Now Lewis sounds like the Wilder ventriloquist dummy same daft cliches same worn out excuses. A win tomorrow followed by several more on the bounce and Lewis can carry on with his incomprehensions - draws are no use if we want a top 3 spot - we will not win play offs.
Are you sure, Adlibber, you’re supporting the right football club? The negative, sneering cynicism that characterises your every post is very fashionable, but being negative, sneering and cynical (a) is a sad and dreary way to live your life and (b) doesn’t fit in with the way Oxford United is currently being run. From the top down there’s an honesty and a lack of cynicism at our club that are refreshing in the present dark days of football. We have an owner who (what a rarity) is not interested in self-publicity or asset-stripping, and is doing a highly intelligent and responsible – and honest, uncynical – job of running the club. We have a caretaker manager who is doing an honest, uncynical job with a committed, uncynical squad. Wouldn’t you be happier following Chelsea, say, or Manchester City? There’s so much to be cynical about there, as there is in so much of current football. You have a very shaky grasp of what this club is about, and no grasp at all of the realities of fourth-tier football. Your endless cynical sneering and obsessive droning about results (which is all you understand about the game) are tedious, irrelevant and of absolutely zero use to OUFC. Have a nice day (if you can see it through your cynicism). Come on you yellows.
[quote][p][bold]adlibber[/bold] wrote: Now Lewis sounds like the Wilder ventriloquist dummy same daft cliches same worn out excuses. A win tomorrow followed by several more on the bounce and Lewis can carry on with his incomprehensions - draws are no use if we want a top 3 spot - we will not win play offs.[/p][/quote]Are you sure, Adlibber, you’re supporting the right football club? The negative, sneering cynicism that characterises your every post is very fashionable, but being negative, sneering and cynical (a) is a sad and dreary way to live your life and (b) doesn’t fit in with the way Oxford United is currently being run. From the top down there’s an honesty and a lack of cynicism at our club that are refreshing in the present dark days of football. We have an owner who (what a rarity) is not interested in self-publicity or asset-stripping, and is doing a highly intelligent and responsible – and honest, uncynical – job of running the club. We have a caretaker manager who is doing an honest, uncynical job with a committed, uncynical squad. Wouldn’t you be happier following Chelsea, say, or Manchester City? There’s so much to be cynical about there, as there is in so much of current football. You have a very shaky grasp of what this club is about, and no grasp at all of the realities of fourth-tier football. Your endless cynical sneering and obsessive droning about results (which is all you understand about the game) are tedious, irrelevant and of absolutely zero use to OUFC. Have a nice day (if you can see it through your cynicism). Come on you yellows. BigYellowScarf
  • Score: 28

2:54pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Roy Burton's shorts says...

We should be looking forward to Rochdale and games against the other contenders. We have more than our fair share of ‘big game’ players with play-off and Wembley experience. They will relish these challenges and should put in good performances.
My only worry at present is having to live with a make-do back four. Hunt is a good defender but you really need two specialists in the centre controlling the line. Cracks have appeared in recent games. One of Newport’s goals was a clear positional error, we were fortunate that an unmarked Clucas missed an open goal in the six yard box for Mansfield early on and a bad decision from Hunt with a header let in Wimbledon for their goal. I really hope that Raynes is fit for tomorrow. Whoever sits in for Newey will be tested and run at too.
Then again, I’m just nervous like the rest of us. Truth is, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us win tomorrow. If we do, I believe it will be a defining moment and set us up for a top 3 finish.
COYY
We should be looking forward to Rochdale and games against the other contenders. We have more than our fair share of ‘big game’ players with play-off and Wembley experience. They will relish these challenges and should put in good performances. My only worry at present is having to live with a make-do back four. Hunt is a good defender but you really need two specialists in the centre controlling the line. Cracks have appeared in recent games. One of Newport’s goals was a clear positional error, we were fortunate that an unmarked Clucas missed an open goal in the six yard box for Mansfield early on and a bad decision from Hunt with a header let in Wimbledon for their goal. I really hope that Raynes is fit for tomorrow. Whoever sits in for Newey will be tested and run at too. Then again, I’m just nervous like the rest of us. Truth is, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us win tomorrow. If we do, I believe it will be a defining moment and set us up for a top 3 finish. COYY Roy Burton's shorts
  • Score: 6

7:37pm Fri 28 Feb 14

martico1 says...

Very well said BYS - have nothing against ad L but yours is great sense.

We are in the best position we've been in for years - and it is all in our hands. Just getting ready for the trip to Rochdale -let's hope it's half as was the Mansfield journey and result.
Very well said BYS - have nothing against ad L but yours is great sense. We are in the best position we've been in for years - and it is all in our hands. Just getting ready for the trip to Rochdale -let's hope it's half as was the Mansfield journey and result. martico1
  • Score: 4

7:52pm Fri 28 Feb 14

OxRoxBox says...

Tell you what - we are in the mix and that is what counts !!! Of course its hard to get ahead but there are plenty of points to play for and steal. Guys it is a marathon and not a sprint - remember Christmas a few years ago in the Conference? Were we 15 - 17 points ahead and still failed to make the paly offs come end of season?
Never ever give up - come on you Yellows !
Tell you what - we are in the mix and that is what counts !!! Of course its hard to get ahead but there are plenty of points to play for and steal. Guys it is a marathon and not a sprint - remember Christmas a few years ago in the Conference? Were we 15 - 17 points ahead and still failed to make the paly offs come end of season? Never ever give up - come on you Yellows ! OxRoxBox
  • Score: 5

9:04pm Fri 28 Feb 14

greengarden says...

adlibber wrote:
Now Lewis sounds like the Wilder ventriloquist dummy same daft cliches same worn out excuses. A win tomorrow followed by several more on the bounce and Lewis can carry on with his incomprehensions - draws are no use if we want a top 3 spot - we will not win play offs.
You really do not get do you! You have no idea of the work going into the running of our club and the challenge of playing in this league.

Have you ever played football at any level? Or played an active role in the running of a club? I think not somehow!

Your continual cynical rubbish that you spout, is so so negative.

I'd suggest you find another club to follow because we don't need people like you. Just for once get behind the club 100% be positive and all those working do hard to get us out of this league
[quote][p][bold]adlibber[/bold] wrote: Now Lewis sounds like the Wilder ventriloquist dummy same daft cliches same worn out excuses. A win tomorrow followed by several more on the bounce and Lewis can carry on with his incomprehensions - draws are no use if we want a top 3 spot - we will not win play offs.[/p][/quote]You really do not get do you! You have no idea of the work going into the running of our club and the challenge of playing in this league. Have you ever played football at any level? Or played an active role in the running of a club? I think not somehow! Your continual cynical rubbish that you spout, is so so negative. I'd suggest you find another club to follow because we don't need people like you. Just for once get behind the club 100% be positive and all those working do hard to get us out of this league greengarden
  • Score: 7

11:03pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Coyyellows says...

Adibber you really are an absolute muppet . Do us all a favour and take a hike you negative snipping little idiot . Not got a clue about football if it smacked you in the face .we don't need supporters like you with the position were in ,get a life if all your gonna do is come on sites moaning . We're 4th in league 2 and got a good chance of getting promotion , if that ain't good enough do one , and the rest of all you negative fickle lot

Up the Us
Adibber you really are an absolute muppet . Do us all a favour and take a hike you negative snipping little idiot . Not got a clue about football if it smacked you in the face .we don't need supporters like you with the position were in ,get a life if all your gonna do is come on sites moaning . We're 4th in league 2 and got a good chance of getting promotion , if that ain't good enough do one , and the rest of all you negative fickle lot Up the Us Coyyellows
  • Score: 7

11:05pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Coyyellows says...

And by that I mean the minority , ! That are negative not everyone on here
And by that I mean the minority , ! That are negative not everyone on here Coyyellows
  • Score: 5

12:22am Sat 1 Mar 14

YellowRose says...

Love the POSITIVE comments! Does anyone else sing GOING UP while climbing the stairs or is it just me?
Love the POSITIVE comments! Does anyone else sing GOING UP while climbing the stairs or is it just me? YellowRose
  • Score: 4

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