Karl Robinson has stressed he expects more from Isaac Buckley-Ricketts after hauling the Manchester City loanee off after just quarter of an hour during Saturday’s goalless draw with Oldham.
The 20-year-old was ushered onto the pitch as a 29th minute substitute, replacing Josh Ruffels who limped out of the game.
However, unimpressed, gaffer Robinson withdrew the England Under-19 European champion at half time.
The new manager confirmed afterwards that replacing Buckley-Ricketts, who has made eight starts for Oxford since signing on loan in January, was performance related and not due to an injury.
He said: “I’m here for Oxford United, not to develop players for Manchester City or anybody else.
“Loan players have to make a difference when they come on.
“Development with loans is your [the parent club’s] players have to perform.
“I don’t mind what they say – I don’t really care – because there’s over 7,000 people here that would go to the wall with Oxford United so every player’s got to go with them to that wall. And climb it, by the way, not just get there – get over it.”
He added: “I had Ezri Konsa and Ademola Lookman who were in that [England] team and I know how good they are and how hard they work.”
The 0-0 draw with Oldham did little to calm the relegation nerves around the Kassam but Robinson, who has called on his players to rediscover their ruthless edge in the box, was ‘proud’ of his players’ application.
He said: “I don’t think the players, staff and fans can shout anymore, my shirt is soaked through with sweat and my jumper is stretched from all the pulling actions I was trying to give the referee.
“I can’t ask anymore of the whole football club. I’m proud of them.”
He added: “I can’t remember the last time we kept a clean sheet so it’s important we work on the fundamentals of winning games.
“You don’t win games if you concede a lot of goals and that’s certainly been the case since I’ve been here.
“So I’m pleased with the players and hopefully we can build on it.”