POSTPONEMENTS are rarely welcome at this stage of the season, but there is a silver lining to Oxford United’s frozen pitch.

When Fleetwood Town return to the Kassam Stadium for the rearranged fixture on April 10, they have every chance of facing a stronger home side.

Before the wintry weather took hold this week, United were boosted by a friendly at Queens Park Rangers.

It featured two players still waiting for their competitive debuts after suffering injuries in their first week with the U’s.

Cameron Brannagan and Ivo Pekalski each got an hour under their belts in the 2-2 draw as the midfield pair took important steps towards match fitness.

The third key player United will hope to be in full flow come Fleetwood’s visit next month is Rob Hall, who was not ready to face QPR but is making good progress.

Swede Pekalski, out since August with a cruciate knee ligament injury, was the biggest bonus for caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley.

He said: “Ivo’s experienced and has international caps as well, so he’s got the pedigree.

“He still perhaps needs another couple of games before he’s going to be in and around first team selection.

“It would be foolish to rush him and play him before he’s ready.

“When you’ve been out for four or five months to pick up the pace, coming into a new environment, will take him a bit longer than Cameron, who is much more used to English conditions.”

He added: “(Brannagan) has a good pedigree and seems very mature for his age, which is good.”

Hall saw a specialist this week, who reported the issues with a burst cyst in one of his calf muscles had now cleared up.

Fazackerley said: “Now he will be stepping up his training regime.

“I don’t like to put a date on it but it will be at least a couple of weeks before he’s out training fully with the rest of the squad.

“Then fingers crossed there are no other setbacks.”

While the trio would give United added quality when Fleetwood return, Fazackerley’s spell as caretaker boss will, surely, be over.

On Monday he met new owner Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, who is now hopeful of appointing a manager next week.

Fazackerley is aware of the clamour from supporters for a decision to be made, but thinks the key is to settle on the correct candidate.

He said: “I do think people want a timeframe, but the most important thing is to make the right appointment.

“If that takes a week or two weeks, then so be it.”