Des Buckingham praises Oxford substitutes for ‘massive impact’ against Wigan

By Sports Desk February 13, 2024

Oxford head coach Des Buckingham was delighted with his team’s second-half performance as they beat Wigan 4-2 at the Kassam Stadium for their first win in six games.

He praised 20-year-old Tyler Goodrham who provided the icing on the cake with the fourth goal as the U’s moved back into the top six.

United’s other goals came from Josh Murphy, Cameron Brannagan and Ruben Rodrigues, with Brannagan also seeing a long-range shot smash against the bar.

Buckingham said: “We weren’t at our best in the first half.

“The pleasing thing for me was our response in the second half – and we’ve had players come on who have had a massive impact.

“You have to remember that when players have been out for a while it takes them time to get their match fitness and match sharpness back.

“But we have given them valuable game time now.

“At half-time we spoke about making sure we move the ball quicker and it was trying to give them clarity – simplifying things rather than complicating them.

“With players coming back we now have a lot more options and hopefully with four games unbeaten we can make this a bit of a run.

“Tyler Goodrham’s a wonderful young man who has grown massively.

“It’s a pleasure to watch him and to have a player here who is so bright and so mature for his age.”

Wigan had led through Jordan Jones’s 41st-minute shot, but their level dropped in the second half and Thelo Aasgaard’s second goal for the Latics late on proved not enough.

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was unhappy with his team’s mentality.

Maloney said: “We were very good up until they scored and the mentality dropped.

“I put myself in the group because it’s all of us – I’ll change that mentality.

“There were two sides to our performance – and one I didn’t like.

“What I didn’t see at half-time and in the second half was an understanding of why we had been so dominant.

“We can’t take things for granted. As soon as we start to think we’re better than we are, we get hurt. You saw that in the second half.

“I’ve got some really good lads in the dressing room and some young ones who are learning.

“They have to understand that football is hard.

“As soon as you think you’re doing OK, other teams will hurt you and that’s what happened tonight.

“What we did with the ball was as good as anything we’ve produced this season.

“But that second half wasn’t. We’ve had second halves like that and games like that because of where we are as a club.

“It’s on me to change the culture at the club.”

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