The manager looks ahead to tomorrow's big match
Oxford United welcome neighbours Northampton Town for their Sky Bet League 2 fixture tomorrow (3pm).
We went to the training ground yesterday to ask Chris Wilder his thoughts ahead of the game.
‘I went to watch Northampton in the play-off final and they obviously had a disappointing day. They’ve not started off this season as well as Aidy [Boothroyd] and Andy King would have liked to but it’s still early in the season. They’ll be looking to build on a great win last week and it’s two clubs that are pretty local to each other and it’s usually a cracking atmosphere at games between both clubs.’
For United, the game comes on the back of successive home defeats, although the performance against Portsmouth in Tuesday’ Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game was much improved. Chris Wilder knows the team needs to continue that improvement on Saturday:
‘We’ve talked about the need to work harder. Aidy was at the game on Tuesday night and he’ll have seen that we did that with the younger players in the team, so that was really good.
‘Northampton is a big game for us. People talk about the home form and the home results not being good enough and they’re absolutely spot on. We’re not looking at it negatively and fearing playing at home.
‘I’m looking for us to set the pace of the game and to play with an energy and not give the ball away. People talk about systems etc. but we need to work harder than the opposition and we need to compete a bit more, win first and second balls and not give the ball away and be better with the ball and we did that on Tuesday night.’
For United, Andy Whing has now completed his three-match ban while captain Jake Wright has recovered from an operation and both will be looking to be involved tomorrow. But it’s not all good news for the U’s:
‘We’re obviously a lot stronger with the skipper and Andy Whing back in the team. Alfie’s a doubt. We’ll check him on Friday but he’s got a tight hamstring and hopefully we’ll have just caught that in time because he didn’t feel anything go. Yet again we won’t take any risks or chances.’
You can hear the full interview right now in Yellow Player.
This should be a great game and one not to miss. Get your tickets from www.oufctickets.co.uk or call 01865 337533.