When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
FOOTBALL: Skipper Wright on time
Tom Newey says Oxford United will have an extra spring in their step as two vital players return for their clash with Northampton Town this afternoon.
Skipper Jake Wright and Andy Whing are expected to be named in the squad after sitting out several games through injury and suspension respectively.
Both have been missed, with the U’s losing three of their last four games to take some of the gloss off their bright start to the season.
Newey admits seeing the pair on the team sheet will boost everyone.
He said: “It does, because it makes not just the starting XI stronger, but the squad as a whole.
“It can only help as we want everyone fit and fighting for places.
“They have been brilliant around the place and in the changing room, even when they haven’t been involved.”
United have won the last three meetings with the Cobblers at the Kassam Stadium and after struggling on home soil this season another victory would be very welcome.
Newey said: “There are enough experienced boys out there to make sure everyone is in the right frame of mind to get after them from the first whistle.”
Whing will almost certainly start, probably at the expense of Asa Hall, but U’s boss Chris Wilder has a decision to make over Wright, who may not be ready to play 90 minutes after only returning to full training this week.
Michael Raynes’s form means the captain does not need to be rushed back, so he may only be named among the substitutes.
Alfie Potter has a tight hamstring and may not be risked, so Ryan Williams could be given another chance on the right flank, while Sean Rigg and Dave Kitson are likely to return after being rested for the 2-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Portsmouth in midweek.
Injuries have played a big part in Northampton’s poor start to the season.
Alex Nicholls, Kelvin Langmead, Lewis Hornby, Clive Platt and Matt Heath are all definitely out, while winger Chris Hackett – formerly of United – and striker Roy O’Donovan are rated as 50/50 with groin and ankle problems respectively.
Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Williams, Whing, Rose, Rigg, Kitson, Smalley, Constable, Potter, O’Dowda, Davies, Hall, Ruffels, Bevans, Raynes, Crocombe.
Northampton Tn: from Duke, Amankwaah, Reid, Doumbe, Widdow-son, Collins, Emerton, Carter, Deegan, Morris, Dallas, Hackett, O’Donovan, Toney, McNamara, Tozer, Demontag-nac, Harriott.
Comments are closed on this article.