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Oxford United out to claim third League One scalp
OXFORD United are attempting to complete a hat-trick of home wins against high-flying npower League One sides this season by knocking Sheffield United out of the FA Cup tomorrow.
The Blades are favourites to progress, but Chris Wilder’s side have shown an appetite for an upset during this campaign.
Bournemouth were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on a penalty shoot-out following a goalless draw in August, while Swindon Town lost 1-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy a month later.
The trio are all in the division’s top seven and Wilder, a former Blades player, believes the experience will stand his underdogs in good stead.
“Definitely and I do believe that all three clubs will be right in the mix,” the United manager said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if two of those three go up at the end of the season because especially Bournemouth and Swindon the resources they have is unbelievable for League One.
“Sheffield United are doing it a bit differently, but they’re still the biggest club in that league.
“They have been tight games and we’ve had to work extremely hard.
“I don’t think either took us lightly, Swindon certainly didn’t want to lose a local derby and Bournemouth put a strong side out.
“They were tough games that we managed to win and it would be lovely to make it a hat-trick.”
Wins against Barnet and Acc-rington Stanley have put the U’s into the third round for the first time in a decade.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of their 2-0 defeat at Highbury against an Arsenal side who went on to successfully defend their title.
It is 14 years since they last won at this stage and Wilder would dearly love to end the wait.
He said: “It’s certainly happened before, it’s not an impossible situation.
“It’s good we’re in the third round for the first time in ten years, but there’s a real incentive for us to progress even further.
“It’s all very well talking about stuff like this, we have to make sure it happens.
“We have players like (Peter) Leven, (Michael) Duberry and (Tom) Craddock who have played at a higher level.
“There are also others we feel could play at a higher level.
“It’s up to them to show their qualities and show they can compete.”