Richards, Montrose and Parker sign for the U's
Oxford United have today strengthened their squad with three new signings: striker Justin Richards, midfielder Lewis Montrose and forward Josh Parker.
Justin Richards will be a familiar face to many U's fans after spending the second half of the 2007/8 season on loan with the U's.
With James Constable suspended for four games and Deane Smalley and Jon-Paul Pittman both on the long-term injured list, United have turned to the experienced forward. Now aged 32, the powerfully built striker began his career at West Brom and he has played over 400 senior games while scoring well over a century of goals. He joins on a month's loan from Burton Albion and goes straight into the squad to face Sheffield United at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.
At the same time Lewis Montrose has signed on loan until the end of the season.
Montrose, 24, began his career with Wigan Athletic before joining Wycombe Wanderers in 2009. he made 50 appearances for the Chairboys before signing for Gillingham in 2011. The six foot tall central midfielder has made 18 appearances for Martin Allen's side this season, scoring twice. United fans may also remember a fine goal he scored against the U's last season.
Lewis completed the paperwork today but will not be involved in Saturday's game or next Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy area semi-final against Southend United as he is cup tied in both competitions. He is likely to be involved for the first time when the U's travel to Bradford on January 12th.
Josh Parker has made three substitute appearances since signing non-contract terms with the U's before Christmas. The former QPR youngster can play up front or out wide and has agreed a deal to stay until the end of the season
Manager Chris Wilder said:
"Justin is a strong lad who scores his share of goals and also holds the ball up well and brings other people into the game. With James Constable out for the next few games we needed an experienced player up front and he fits the bill very well.
"It is an extraordinary situation with suspensions and injuries and on this occasion a month's loan suits us and it suits the player perfectly. It is a big few weeks for us and we need to keep the momentum going from a good run we are on.
"Lewis has played over 100 games and is a very good player at this level. With Lee Cox and Jake Forster-Caskey returning to their parent clubs we wanted to add a midfielder to strengthen that department and we are fortunate to be able to bring in someone of Lewis's quality.
"Josh is someone we are willing to take a chance on and he deserves a chance to show what he can do over a longer period where he can get himself really fit and we can work with him."
Chairman Ian Lenagan was pleased with the three new faces:
"The results have improved and we are gathering momentum and it is important to strengthen when that is happening. I am happy to back Chris with the finances to ensure that Oxford United continue to make progress in the league and the cup competitions.
"On balance the signings are very good, they add to the existing squad and we look forward to seeing them contribute at a crucial stage of the season."
See interviews with Chris, Justin and Lewis in Yellow Player