Rogers is fuming at Tranmere showing
TRANMERE Rovers assistant boss Alan Rogers said his players needed to stand up and be counted after a heavy home defeat by Oxford left the club’s Football League existence hanging by a thread.
Oxford took the lead on 51 minutes when a cross from Sam Long found Kemar Roofe who executed his header in clinical fashion.
A minute later it was 2-0 as Oxford sliced their way through the Rovers defence with crisp pass before Alexander McDonald found Danny Rose who applied the finish.
The visitors wrapped up the points on 68 minutes when Danny Hylton picked out Roofe who smashed the ball home prompting the angry exit of a large number of home supporters.
A disconsolate Rogers said: “I’m dumbfound by it.We knew it was a big occasion. We huffed and puffed in the first half but never really looked like scoring again.
“In the second half; we couldn’t have had a worse start.We concede a goal, but then you’ve got to have a bit of mental strength about you and make sure you’re tight for the next ten minutes and then try and get back in the game.
“But to concede a second after a minute, it’s not acceptable and it’s not good enough.
“The first goal is poor. Just lock on to your man, mark your man.We work all week. The players have got to start taking some responsibility. It’s Ok everyone pointing fingers at the manager, but I was a player. Stand up and be counted.
“Defend set pieces, defend crosses. It’s an easy option pointing the finger at the manager. These players have got to look at themselves.”
Tranmere signalled positive intent early on with a shot in the first minute from Max Power followed by a left-footed free-kick effort from George Green, both comfortably saved by Jamie Ashdown.
After the break Jennison Myrie-Williams forced another save out of Ashdown before Michael Ihiekwe missed a glorious chance with a header from the ensuing corner. It was to prove costly as The U’s punished Tranmere’s profligacy with three ruthless strikes.
Oxford manager Michael Appleton said: “We knew they were going to come out of the traps all guns blazing and it certainly was in the first 20 minutes.
“The ball was coming back into play very quickly. They were taking quick throw-ins, quick freekicks and they were really making it a difficult job.
“The message for the second half was just make sure we defend properly, because we knew there would be opportunities for us.”
STAR MAN RYAN LOWE
Bury TIMELY EFFORT: Ryan Lowe heads home and celebrates, inset, below
STAR MAN KEMAR ROOFE