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Oxford United focusing on reaping rewards after being handed Accrington tie
OXFORD United face a daunting travel schedule in cup competitions next month, but manager Chris Wilder has urged his players to focus on the rewards at stake.
The U’s will cover 780 miles in the space of four days, after they were handed a trip away to Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup second round draw yesterday.
The match is likely to be played on Saturday, December 1, which is around 76 hours before their visit to Plymouth Argyle in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Wilder admitted it was not perfect, but after watching his side comfortably beat Barnet 2-0 in the FA Cup first round on Saturday the United boss is upbeat about the challenge.
He said: “We have to get on with it, it’s not an ideal situation, but we will prepare as best we can.
“There are big prizes at the end of both games.
“We’re making progress and it’s important we keep doing that.”
United only met Accrington last month, running out 5-0 winners at the Kassam Stadium with Tom Craddock scoring four times.
Wilder knows it will be a tough assignment, with both sides just 90 minutes away from a potential clash with a Premier League side in the next round.
He said: “Accrington is a place where your attitude and professionalism needs to be spot on, like it was on Saturday.
“They will know we’re a decent side after the recent game and will want to avenge that defeat.
“There are a lot of sub-plots around the game, but the biggest one is both teams will be desperate to get into the third round.”
United always looked like getting the better of Barnet on Saturday after producing a thoroughly-professional display.
But they had to wait until late on to make sure of victory.
James Constable opened the scoring before the hour-mark, and the striker then set up Sean Rigg to double the lead ten minutes from time.
It was the first time United, who triumphed 3-1 at Wycombe a week earlier, had won back-to-back games since August and Wilder was delighted with his side’s performance.
He said: “When the second goal went in you could see that bit of a swagger and the confidence coming back. “They’ve been through the mill a little bit and now hopefully they’re coming out the other side.”