Craig Short may not have been able to bring an immediate improvement in results for Oxford United, as they lost his first game in caretaker charge at Lincoln. 

However, he is hoping their performance in the 1-0 defeat at Sincil Bank will help to restore their shattered confidence, despite the latest setback extending their torrid run of form to eight defeats in nine games. 

They could consider themselves unlucky to come away with nothing after what was, at least, a considerably better display compared to some of those seen in the final days of Karl Robinson’s tenure. 

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Twice they had shots cleared off the line, while the fact home goalkeeper Carl Rushworth was named man of the match speaks volumes on the balance of play. 

READ MORE: Oxford United slip further towards relegation with Lincoln loss

Short said: “I think that performance is going to help their confidence. 

“The confidence was shot – I’ve been there as a player where you’ve lost games and not been performing at the level you have done. 

“I wanted the players to perform at the level they have done for the three years I’ve been here, and previous to that when Karl’s been in charge. 

“I wanted them to get back to that level and of course we’re gutted.

"I’ve just been in the changing room and you can’t say a great deal to them afterwards. 

“They’re all gutted in there but a special mention to James Henry, who’s been out for a while.  

“I can’t really fault any of the players, but this is a results business, I know that.” 

Short admitted in the build-up this week to occasionally having disagreements with Robinson and one of his first acts was to restore the captain’s armband to centre-back Elliott Moore. 

Robinson stated Moore had stepped down from the role before what turned out to be the final game of his five years in charge, against Bristol Rovers. 

Short claimed it was an easy decision to make, saying: “Elliott has probably been the most consistent player in my time here. 

Witney Gazette: Craig ShortCraig Short

“I was a centre-back, I was captain and I always want a centre-back to be captain if you’ve got leadership qualities like Elliott has. 

“Cameron [Brannagan] and Sam [Long] were fine. The first thing I did was I spoke to them and they were fine [with the decision]. 

“You want leaders out there and you’ve got senior pros like James Henry. He wasn’t captain but he led by example today, Cameron does in most games and Sam does.”