Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted he has a huge task ahead of him after watching his new side get dismantled by Oxford.
Hasselbaink returned to the Pirelli Stadium for a second spell on Friday evening and could only watch on as a goal from Matty Taylor and braces from Olamide Shodipo and Josh Ruffels condemned them to a fifth defeat in a row.
Albion have conceded 14 times in the three games over the Christmas period and defensive stability is a must, said the new boss.
Burton’s only consolation was a goal for Kane Hemmings, the former Oxford striker who notched his 100th league goal just before half-time.
“There is a lot of work to be done,” Hasselbaink admitted. “Let’s not kid ourselves, it is a totally different job than my first one here. There is a lot of quality in the dressing room and we need to get it out of the players.
“There are a lot of them low on confidence right now and we need to start giving them that to give them a platform that they can play from and we need to organise as soon as possible. We are leaking too many goals and we need to reduce that very quickly.
“We need to significantly improve in that area and keep things tight and if you do that you have got a chance of winning matches. It doesn’t help getting a goal against so early like today especially when your confidence is low and we need to address that aspect of our game immediately.
“The players need to do it for themselves. We can talk to them and coach them and we have to make them believe. I believe in them otherwise I would not be here and it will start on Monday on the training pitch.”
Oxford boss Karl Robinson praised his side for the way they started 2021.
“The lads have made it a very happy and merry Christmas in very difficult times for everybody and I think they deserve tremendous credit for dedicating their time along with the staff at a time when they don’t spend that much time with their families,” said Robinson.
“The performance today was an accumulation of good substitutions at the right time and keeping players fresh.
“The rest that we had before we went into this break paid big dividends in the first 15 or 20 minutes as they had higher energy levels in order to do that. Overall I am really, really pleased.
“The calmness showed through. We conceded just before half-time but it was good to get in then when we did. We saw recently when we have conceded we have shut up shop and we were able to go again in the second half.”
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