Adam Chapman says the intense competition for places in Oxford United’s midfield is a great sign as the club look to climb the table.
The 22-year-old is battling with Peter Leven, Jake Forster-Caskey and Lee Cox for two places in United’s starting line-up for tonight’s npower League Two home game against Dagenham & Redbridge.
The only other time the quartet have all been available was the 5-0 win against Accrington Stanley last month.
Chapman has enjoyed playing alongside the fit-again Peter Leven recently, but knows he must shine to keep a place.
He said: “With everybody coming back it keeps you motivated on a personal level to stay in the team.
“It’s great we have competition, with four great midfielders who can play on any given day and put a performance in – that’s all positive for the club.”
The key to victory tonight could be United’s creative midfield duo finding a way to unlock a Daggers side whose game-plan may centre around stifling Chris Wilder’s men.
Patience may be a virtue, but Chapman also has faith in the supporters in the Oxford Mail stand playing their part.
He said: “I would imagine Dagenham would come and try to frustrate, hang in there and do what they have to do.
“It’s up to me and Levs and the other midfield players to look for that killer pass, but you don’t want to force it and give the ball away all the time.
“At the Kassam, even if it gets into the second half I would back us scoring every single game.
“It feels like that stand just sucks the ball in, somehow.”
Chapman was catapulted to fame ten days ago when it was revealed he almost missed the trip to Wycombe with a burnt nipple, following an accident heating up milk for his newborn son.
The former Sheffield United trainee admitted it had been an eventful few days, but sees the funny side of it.
He said: “I’d rather people were talking about the football, but I don’t mind it at all.
“It’s not been a problem, it’s just when you chest the ball it becomes a bit keen.”
DAVE Langan, one of United’s 1986 Milk Cup-winning side, will be in the club shop from 6.30-7.30pm signing copies of his autobiography Running Through Walls (DB Publishers, £12.99).
It is his second visit to the Kassam after running out of books last time.