Heath Issues U's Rallying Cry
Matt Heath has stated that the U's must continue to believe in what they're doing and stick together if they're to arrest their recent run of defeats and halt their slide down the League One table.
Following a difficult first half to the campaign in which injury had restricted the experienced centre-half to just six appearances, Heath was thrown in at the deep end in yesterday's defeat to Crawley following late illnesses to both Tom Eastman and John White.
'It wasn't the easiest game to return to, it was a dogged fight out there,' reflected Heath following the final whistle. 'It may not have been the best conditions but it's the same for both teams and it was never going to be pretty.
'It's not gone well for us today, but I would like to make a contribution. All I can do is keep on working hard, keep myself fit and then do what I can.'
The 3-0 reverse at the Broadfield Stadium was the U's seventh in succession and leaves the side hovering just above the bottom four, but with a small gap appearing between themselves and Oldham in nineteenth.
However, despite the three-goal loss, Matt insists that there were positives to be had from the game.
'We may have lost 3-0, but we did keep the ball and create a few chances, it just didn't fall for us and we're kicking ourselves for not taking them when we were dominating the game between the first and second goals.
'Those are the positives to be taken; that we kept the ball and made chances. There are a few positivrs there and so I'm sure it will start falling for us in the next few games and we can take those chances.'
The U's gave themselves an uphill battle from the off by falling a goal behind after just five minutes, but according to Heath the side are well aware that this is an issue they need to stop happening.
'We tried to start the game strongly but, obviously, that didn't happen by conceding the early goal.
'We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and we know that it isn't good enough, we know that we have to stop doing that. But we can't just say that, we have to be doing it out there on the pitch.
'We've dominated a lot of the game and yet we've lost 3-0; that's football. There's lads in there who've been here before and we've just got to stick together, carry on working hard and avoid sulking, which we will as we're a good bunch. We'll keep going, we'll keep working hard every day for those three points that we desperately need.'
The 31-year-old former Premier League centre-half is one of the most experienced heads in the Joe Dunne's dressing room, and he knows that he can have a big role to play in helping the U's pull themselves clear of danger.
Issuing his own rallying cry to do so, Heath said: 'It's been one of the worst runs in my career, but I have been in relegation fights and bad runs before.
'We have to stick together as a full squad, work hard and keep belief in what we are doing; believe that it will turn for us. It isn't one-way traffic and we are creating chances, so we neef to believe that it is going to happen for us.
'We're an honest bunch of lads and we don't go out to lose or with the mindset that we're going to be beaten and it will be no different on Saturday. We'll go out there thinking we can beat Doncaster and all we can do is continue working hard in the mean time.'
Matt's comments come ahead of another tough trip to high-flying Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, with Dean Saunders' men lying third in the League One table and on a run of six wins in nine.
Although the fixtures don't appear to be getting any easier, Matt accepts that this is no excuse for the U's.
'We have to play everyone home and away, so the order doesn't matter.
'If we knew what we were doing wrong we wouldn't be doing it, would we? We just need to think back to that winning run we were on not too long ago.
'We have a few days to recover before Saturday, do some work on the training ground and work hard for those three points at Doncaster.
For the latest U's news and views, follow us on Twitter