Andy Munro watches Blues’ League Cup hopes vanish.
That’s about the only shred of consolation gained from a performance that made the turgid display against Cardiff look like El Classico. I knew of a lot of people who weren’t bothering to go and it turned out to be a wise choice although, personally, I had been looking forward to seeing some of the young bucks given their chance.
Unfortunately, despite the youthfulness of some of our players, we started off at a far too pedestrian pace handing the momentum to our arguably less talented visitors a la Rotherham last season. Undoubtedly, Oxford deserved their win and but for some heroics by Legdizes, the margin could have been higher. In fact, I felt very sorry for our stand in keeper whom I’ve always thought was, at best, average. If anyone on the Blues’ side deserved a result it was him. The only other real note of encouragement was an outstanding display by Tesche and surely, he must be the first name on the team sheet in the future.
What was there to be learnt by this display? Actually, quite a bit. Youngster Cogley is a steady right back but nothing more and no reason to mess Caddis around by putting him into midfield. In fairness, Caddis didn’t play too badly although he was predictably subbed when there were far worse performers. On that subject, Vaughan seems to get more laboured and ordinary every time I see him and, quite frankly, needs to be shipped out. Why he was left on the pitch whilst Jack Storer was subbed, goodness only knows. Whilst, Storer never really threatened the goal himself, he showed great touches and linked the play well when others failed to show any decent control or passing ability.
Soloman Otabor too often over-ran the ball or held on to it too long. Yet in his defence, because of our lack of forward momentum and conviction there was precious little to aim at in the centre. However, Gary Rowett’s message to young Viv must be to be satisfied beating one player and then to get the ball into the box. The introduction of Gleeson, Donaldson and Maghoma did little to change things although the latter flattered to deceive on a number of occasions.
In fact, it was almost a relief on a very chilly night, with the wind blowing through the gaps in the crowd, when Oxford scored their deserved winner. As I made my way home the first thing I did was to discard my cup ticket stub which I was optimistically saving for Wembley Way……just one more match in the trials and tribulations of being a Blues fan.