Michael looking for one last away winOxford United head for Carlisle on Saturday for the last scheduled away game of the season. The U’s, who have lost just twice away from home all season, will be backed by around 2,000 fans as they try and grab one of the two remaining automatic promotion places. It is a long trip for the Yellow Army and Head Coach Michael Appleton was quick to praise their efforts when he spoke to Yellow Player HD today.
“It’s a fantastic effort” he said “but it doesn’t surprise me after the efforts they have put in all season. I can think of plenty of cold winter days where they have been there for us, and it is going to be a great atmosphere. The players and the staff really do appreciate the support that we get on the road and we’re all looking forward to the game now.”
United have just two games left: Carlisle away then a sold out game at home to Wycombe next Saturday. A win in the first one would hand United a massive advantage on the final day of the season.
“Absolutely" Michael admitted. "It’s almost like a cup situation and we have to make sure that we are still in this position next week and it’s still in our hands. It’s got to be about what we do; it doesn’t matter if people match us, the focus is doing the job right ourselves.”
Joe Skarz came back into the side after injury last week and is expected to continue at left-back but the news on fellow defender Johnny Mullins was not so positive.
“Joe and a couple of players will train for the first time today more as a precaution than anything so we have them available for Saturday but we fully expect him to be available” Michael said. “John looks a bit doubtful though because he rolled his ankle in midweek and that’s a situation we will have to be aware of.”
Tenth-placed Carlisle may not be able to reach the play-offs any more but Michael warns that Keith Curle’s side will still be dangerous opponents on Saturday.
“It’s their last home game of the season so there will be a decent crowd and I think it will be a situation where there are players desperate to impress and get contracts for next season. Keith has already said people are playing for their careers and livelihood so we expect a very tough game but I’d be disappointed if any game this weekend wasn’t tough in this league.”
Sponsors Liontrust have helped the U’s with their travel arrangements for the match, helping the squad travel by train on Friday so they can be fully prepared for Saturday’s encounter.
“That’s a massive help” Michael said. “With it being Bank Holiday Weekend Liontrust were kind enough to help us with the train and make sure we get up there without risking being stuck on a coach on the M6 for god knows how long.
“A big thank you to them. It means we can get up to Carlisle a lot quicker and easier and be as ready and focussed as possible.”
See the full interview plus videos with Chris Maguire and James Roberts plus the heroes of 1986 in Yellow Player HD.
For the latest ticket and travel news click HERE