Four to go as United head for NewportOxford United look to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night as they travel to Newport County. A 3-2 defeat at home to Luton on Saturday allowed the chasing pack to move a step closer to the second-placed U’s but Michael Appleton’s side have generally bounced back very quickly after a defeat. They have only lost back-to-back matches once all season and have won five of the seven games after a defeat so far.
“We have done that all season and are going to have to do it again on Tuesday night,” Head Coach Appleton told Yellow Player HD today. “It’s going to be a tough game on a difficult surface against a side who are looking at which players they want around for next year, so there will be a lot of players playing for contracts which will make the game difficult. It’s a difficult business and a lot of players go out of the game every year, so they will be motivated to be playing one of the sides at the top of the division but we have to make sure we are mentally tough on the night.”
The U’s are likely to be without Callum O’Dowda and Alex MacDonald through illness, while two other key players will face late fitness tests.
“They have tonsillitis and are both struggling and I’ll be surprised if either of them travel,” Michael said. “That’s a disappointment, and then we have a couple of players, Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram, who are both 50/50 and we’ll have to see how they go.
“They both opened up their ankles on Saturday and if they do miss the game then it’s a chance for some of the young players who have come in and done ever so well for us before; people like Josh Ashby and James Roberts, who would have to come in and step straight up to the plate.
“James is getting close to the player we know. Anything we get out of him this season is a bonus but he looks as though he has that hunger back in his eyes and he is one who we know can make a big impact over the next four games.
“But all of the players seem determined to do it right; if we win four games of football then there is nothing that anyone else can do. We’d certainly rather be in that position than any of the other three or four teams around us. It’s always nice to have your fate in your own hands, always nice to have control of your own destiny, and that’s where we are at the minute.”
See the full interview plus the thoughts of Kemar Roofe and a full Preview Show in Yellow Player HD.