Oxford boss going nowhere ahead of Portsmouth game as Bristol Rovers' Joey Barton targets Plymouth man in latest outburst

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Karl Robinson has insisted he remains the right man for Oxford United despite the U’s’ sluggish start to the season.

The Scouser brings his side to Fratton Park on Tuesday night as the Kassam Stadium outfit renew their rivalry with Pompey.

But before that – and Oxford’s home game against Peterborough on Saturday – he finds himself in the unusual position of 19th in the League One table.

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The U’s, who reached the 2020 play-off final and finished in the top six in 2021, reside in that lowly position following six defeats in 12 games.

That’s led to grumblings amid sections of the U’s support.

But Robinson has vowed he’s the person best placed to match the club’s ambitions and get them moving in the right direction again.

Speaking at BBC Radio Oxford’s Five Minute Fans Forum, the Oxford boss said: ‘There’s always questions that are going to be asked of a manager, I feel I’m the right person for this job.

‘That is something I will consistently work hard for.

Oxford boss Karl Robinson     Picture:  Eddie Keogh/Getty ImagesOxford boss Karl Robinson     Picture:  Eddie Keogh/Getty Images
Oxford boss Karl Robinson Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

‘I will make sure that this football club is still moving in the right direction.

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‘I can’t promise you results because sometimes that fundamentally can be out of our control, but I do feel my aspirations certainly match the club’s, and the club’s certainly match mine.

‘We’ve had a bad three months and I don’t think many people can complain, the overachieving that we’ve done.

‘I didn’t move on when opportunities might’ve come along.’

Robinson has been with the U’s since March 2018 and is the EFL’s fifth longest-serving manager.

He’ll travel to PO4 in midweek with a record of no wins from six attempts at Pompey’s home during that time.

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And as he prepares for that and tomorrow’s home game against the Posh, the 42-year-old admitted the pressure he’s under is what you would expect in the football industry.

Robinson added; ‘Certain fans want a change when we’re winning, you’re never going to be liked by everybody.

‘That’s not for me to say whether they’re right or wrong, that’s their prerogative to have an opinion on me as a person and me as a football manager.

‘I always try and do things right, I always work hard and I’m always here trying to make sure that I can improve personally and that the team improves.

‘I’ve never shirked a question, good or bad.

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‘Do I feel the managerial merry-go-round? It’s always going to be a part of our industry.

‘I feel I’ll be a better manager, because of this negative moment, than I’ve ever been.

‘If that’s here, brilliant. It’s what we all want, it’s what I want.’

Plymouth man finds himself in Barton firing line

Plymouth Argyle director of football Neil Dewsnip has found himself the latest victim of a Joey Barton outburst.

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Now Pilgrims chief Dewsnip is in the firing line in the build-up to the Gas’ game against Plymouth on Saturday.

And why, we hear you ask?

Well, it just so happens that the former England underage coach was the head of the Everton academy when Barton was released as a 14-year-old.

Speaking during his press conference ahead of the Memorial Stadium game, Barton said: ‘I don’t have a moment for him, and he avoids me like the plague.

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‘I wrote about him quite frankly in my book and, to be honest, I still carry it around with me. I still carry grudges.

‘I could have listened to him and given up on my dream.

‘Luckily for me I knew he was full of (expletive) and didn't know anything about football.

‘He couldn’t ever really play football.

‘Whenever he used to do demos, he wasn't fantastic because he was a PE teacher and, luckily for me, I didn’t listen to him.

‘But that doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten what he did and the way he did it.

‘And he obviously saddles up with Schuey (Plymouth boss Steven Schumacher) and worms his way in as technical director there and then they've done great, so you can’t knock it.’Plymough