A despondent Pep Clotet admitted how bad he felt after his Oxford United side crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup at the first hurdle.
Friday night’s terrible 2-0 defeat at Port Vale (see inside for report) was made even worse by the fact the hosts are only out of the League Two relegation zone on goal
The United boss said: “It’s very frustrating and I’m very disappointed. We feel really, really bad at the moment.”
The Spaniard suggested his players failed to match the energy and enthusiasm of their lower league opposition, despite putting out a strong team.
“We showed desire by putting a strong team on the pitch as I didn’t make many changes,” he said.
“For Port Vale, the fact they were playing Oxford, a team that is doing well in League One and plays good football, that [helps] them give a little extra.
“We have to understand and make sure we match that by being very focused and brave.
“We need to be on our toes and perform 100 per cent to be able to win football games otherwise it doesn’t matter if it’s against a League Two or Championship side.
“Football nowadays is so even and the team who puts in the extra [effort] always have a better chance.”
The U’s last FA Cup first round exit was in 2011 and, over the last couple of seasons, have enjoyed the magic of the cup by beating Premier League and Championship teams in the process.