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Lewis throws down gauntlet
Struggling Dagenham & Redbridge visit the Kassam Stadium tonight, while United will entertain promotion hopefuls Torquay United on Saturday.
An unusual sequence of fixtures has seen Chris Wilder’s side play at home just once in their last six outings – a 5-0 victory against Accrington Stanley.
But United have played their way back into form on the road, following up a 3-1 victory at Wycombe Wanderers with a 2-0 success against Barnet in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Now Lewis, United’s assistant manager, is looking to carry on the form in front of their home fans and climb the npower League Two table.
He said: “It’s a massively important week. It’s nice to get two home games on the spin and we have to take advantage.
“Even if we were going away we would want to pick up results, but we’ve got two home games and you always want to win those.”
The return to fitness of several players means United’s coaching staff have the rare luxury of selection dilemmas for tonight’s game.
They will have to decide between keeping Saturday’s winning side together, or making changes.
Loan duo Johnny Mullins and Jake Forster-Caskey are available after being ineligible for the FA Cup, while top scorer Tom Craddock has recovered from the rib injury which kept him out on Saturday.
United won both league games against the Daggers last season by a single goal, and Lewis expects another tricky test this evening.
He said: “Dagenham are always a very difficult team to play against.
“They fight and scrap for everything and are well organised, so this will be a tough game.”
The east Londoners have won just once away from home this season and come into the game on the back of a 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth in the FA Cup.
Their main concern is in goal, where 18-year-old Jordan Seabright is in line to make his first senior start after No 1 Chris Lewington sustained concussion on Saturday.
Top scorer Michael Spillane misses out through suspension, while Billy Bingham (groin) and Josh Scott (knee) are injury doubts.
Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Whing, Mullins, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Chapman, Leven, Rigg, Constable, Craddock, Pittman, Marsh, Roberts, Heslop, O’Brien, Raynes, Worley, Brown.
Dagenham & Redbridge: from Seabright, Agogo, Doe, Wilkinson, Ilesanmi, Elito, Howell, Saunders, Green, Gayle, Williams, Lewington, Hoyte, Maher, Reed, Woodall, Bingham, Scott.
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