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Gaffer Looking For A Response From His Players

9 December 2016

Manager Stephen Robinson is demanding a response from his players this weekend against Oxford United.

Athletic were defeated 3-2 in the FA Cup second round on Monday night against Lincoln City, and the gaffer has demanded a response.

He said: "It’s been a tough week with a few home truths said to people. They let themselves down first and foremost live on the television and it has financial implications for the club as well. 

“We wanted to use the money to move the club forward and get new players in but we may be restricted with that so we will have to be clever with what we do in terms of getting people out and getting people in. 

"Our league positions we need a response from our players now. It has to be sooner rather than later. 

"We have had good performances but we haven’t picked up the results we wanted but that has to turn. We owe a performance to the fans and to ourselves because we let each other down. 

"In football you have to move on quickly and we have another tough game against Oxford. We have prepared meticulously for the game again and we are looking for a response from our players.”

Following Monday’s defeat, the players took it upon themselves to make amends.

“I was going to cancel their Christmas party but I didn’t need to in the end. 

"They came to me and said they didn’t feel they wanted a party and they have given some of their money to charity which was rightly so,” admitted the gaffer.

“It saved me having to do it and it does go to show that we do have a core of decent boys who recognise when they have let people down. 

"It was a positive for me and we will move on from it quickly. Myself and Peter Clarke spoke and the conclusion of the chat was that they didn’t feel they had anything to celebrate and I agreed with that. 

“They wanted to make sure they were working hard to turn things around and it sends out the message that they are not going to be going out an enjoying themselves, they just want to work hard and turn the club’s form around so I’m pleased with that.”

Athletic travel to the Kassam Stadium tomorrow afternoon to face Oxford United and the manager knows what sort of test to expect.

“They have got a lot of pace in the team,” he said. “The boy Hall out wide and Marvin Johnson who we had at Motherwell is a threat as well. 

"He has been playing in a deeper position at the moment and we know what he can do. He is a player they signed of a lot of money and it shows they are throwing money at it and they have a decent squad.

“Michael Appleton has done well over the last couple of seasons and they have a bit of momentum as well and it will be a tough test for our team."

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD. 

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