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Early Team News as Oxford United get set for Dagenham

8 January 2015

Michael Appleton helps us get set for the Daggers on Saturday

United are likely to be without regular right-back Joe Riley as they head for Dagenham and Redbridge in Sky Bet League 2 on Saturday.

The on-loan defender returned to the Reebok Stadium this week to train with his parent club for the first time since Neil Lennon took the reins. Talks are ongoing about Riley’s return, but Head Coach Michael Appleton told Yellow Player that he is not expecting him to be available this week as United look to build on their recent away run:

“Joe is still at Bolton who want to have a look at him for a week or so,” Michael said. “I think we are probably going to leave it until early next week now, and if we don’t get the answer that we’re looking for then we’ll maybe have to look elsewhere.”

Jon Meades and Sam Long look likely to contest the vacant right-back spot this weekend and Michael believes there is healthy competition in that position.

“We have a lot of competition for places,” he said. “Jon Meades came in last weekend and did really well, Sam Long played the previous week and did ever so well in a four at Plymouth and he can quite easily do that in a five as well. So we are happy with the young players coming through and just have to make sure we pick the right ones at the right times.”

Will Hoskins is likely to return to the squad after scoring on his return in a friendly at Barnet in midweek, while fellow striker Patrick Hoban will play in a Development Squad game next week after training all week with no reaction after his ankle injury.

United have lost just one of their last six away league games, including a good win at Plymouth on their last road trip, but the U’s’ Head Coach knows that his side will have to be at their sharpest against the Daggers.

“Dagenham are on the back of a good result against Bury and a clean sheet,” he said. “They have a wily old fox up front in Jamie Cureton and the two wide players are very direct and full of pace, so we expect a difficult game, but away from home just of late we have been on a pretty decent run, have been doing well and have looked difficult to beat.”

See the full interview as well as a 15-minute Preview Show featuring interviews with James Roberts, Patrick Hoban and Mark Creighton, only in Yellow Player.

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