OXFORD United will continue to struggle until they iron out their defensive issues, Derek Fazackerley has admitted.

The U’s have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions and tonight visit a Rotherham United side who are one of the highest scorers in Sky Bet League One.

It is an area of concern for caretaker boss Fazackerley.

He said: “It’s held us back pretty much all season really.

“Most of the successful teams are the ones who concede the fewest goals.

“We’ve not been able to do that unfortunately and it’s disappointing because we’ve got experienced players in vital positions.

“But we’ve just not been able to consistently keep clean sheets.

“It’s something we really have to look into and try to resolve, otherwise we’ll always be taking one step forward and two steps back.”

It has led to an increasing clamour for January signing Rob Dickie to be handed his debut at centre half, with skipper John Mousinho in danger of losing his place.

Joe Rothwell is expected to be fit after coming off with cramp on Saturday, while a sore Achilles is unlikely to prevent goalkeeper Simon Eastwood making his 100th start for United.

But it is too soon for Jon Obika (hamstring) and Cameron Brannagan (ankle), who are due to train this week.


Rotherham Utd: from Rodak, Emmanuel, Mattock, Ajayi, Wood, Vaulks, Forde, Towell, Newell, Ball, Smith, Lavery, Yates, Williams, Taylor, Palmer, Ihiekwe, Price.

Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Kane, Martin, Mousinho, Smith-Brown, Ledson, Ruffels, Buckley-Ricketts, Mowatt, Rothwell, Thomas, Napa, Mehmeti, Van Kessel, Henry, Carroll, Dickie, Ricardinho, Shearer.