Gaffer’s thoughts after the 1-1 draw at Oxford
Town picked up a point at fancied Oxford United thanks to a late Stefan Payne strike.
It was a game that Town dominated for much of the 90 minutes but it was Oxford who took the lead on 75 minutes.
Town showed great character to keep pushing and get the equaliser they deserved.
Town manager Paul Hurst spoke to the press after game and was asked whether it was a good point.
“It was a point gained but it should have been three”, said Hurst.
“We should have had a penalty in the first half, I’ve looked back at it and I’ve no doubt whatsoever it should have been a penalty.
“The ball is a million miles away from their left-back and he’s basically pushed into the side Shaun Whalley.
“We then have the goal that is clearly over the line, I’ve watched that back, the assistant referee is in a good position.
“Yes we don’t know how the game will pan out but the first goal is an important one.
“We conceded the goal but to come here and play against a team who are fancied to do well and to only allow them to have 5 to 10 minutes of the game is a big positive.
“Stef’s had chances to win the game at the end and he’s disappointed he didn’t take them, but he’s got the goal to get us level.
“The overriding thing is that we came here at the end of last season and to see the improvements we’ve made today are dramatic, we look a decent side.
“I’m not getting carried away, it’s not in my nature, but if we can come to a place like this and perform like we did it bodes well for the future.
“I’m slightly frustrated today but if you’d offered me the chance to take 10 points from the first four games I would have.”
Stefan Payne was on the score sheet for the second game in a row after returning to the club last week.
“Him and Lenny have come on and to have that option of bringing on two such strikers towards the end of the game is good”, said Paul.
“When we equalised it could have been easy to change the formation and to put Stef out wide but we left it as it was and he created a couple more good chances.”
There was a debut for Norwich loanee Ben Godfrey and he put in a great performance before being subbed late on.
“I thought he was excellent, comfortable on the ball, competitive, very mobile and he fitted in great”, said Paul.
“He was starting to feel the pace of the game slightly and I would suggest that was more to do with the emotion rather than about fitness.”
This season has seen fourteen new faces brought in by Hurst. The change of quality can be seen this season and the strength of the squad.
“We have good options but people talk about the players we’ve brought in and I look at other squads and we haven’t got an abundance of players”, said Paul.
“We’ve got Bryn Morris injured, there might be something with Niall Ennis but we have good players on the bench.
“When you compare he bench to ones I had last season we are a long way ahead of that.”