Michael Appleton look ahead to Tuesday night against York City
Oxford United look set to welcome top scorer Kemar Roofe back into the squad as they take on York City at the Kassam Stadium in Sky Bet League 2 on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
The 20 goal striker has missed the wins at Exeter and Wimbledon with a tight groin but trained today and should be back in contention as the U’s take on the Minstermen.
“We are expecting Roofy to train and he may possibly be involved” Head Coach Michael Appleton told Yellow Player HD this morning . “At the moment I’d say it’s unlikely he will play from the start but he will probably be involved and back in the squad.”
Skipper Jake Wright also returned to training today and is expected to be available for the trip to Plymouth on Saturday, a game which could also see midfielder John Lundstram back in contention.
“Jake is expected to train, which is a bonus” Michael said. “I’ll be surprised if he’s involved on Tuesday because he possibly needs a few training sessions before he is at full speed. Lunny we will just wait for a few more days. It’s right on the area where you most consistently pass the ball, but we think it will settle down more quickly over the next 48 hours and once the swelling goes then it’s just about getting the bruising out, and then you are on the road to recovery.”
With that influential trio all side-lined it has given Chey Dunkley, Josh Ruffels and Jordan Bowery the opportunity to come into the side and impress.
“No one has a God given right to be in the side” Michael warned. “We haven’t created that sort of culture at all. We have created a culture where everyone knows they have to fight for their place in the team. On that basis people know where they stand if they take their opportunity and unless it is an exceptional circumstance the chances are they will keep their place.”
United were beaten by a last minute goal from Accrington last time they were at home and Michael believes that Tuesday night is another huge test for his side, despite the league table.
“The pressure at the bottom is a lot greater than at the top” he said. “Every single game becomes that much more important and York are fighting for their survival, which is why we have to be so aware of how difficult the game will be. Plymouth away on Saturday takes care of itself; two teams enjoying good seasons go toe to toe and let’s see what the outcome is. But on Tuesday night if we are slightly behind it mentally then we lose the game, as simple as that.
“Wins at home have been quite difficult of late, there’s no hiding that. Our home form at the start of the season was fantastic compared to previous seasons and I suppose what makes the home form look a little bit worse is our away record where we have been doing so well. Six wins away on the bounce makes people look more closely at the home form! Over all when you look at the home form it is much better than previous years but we want to finish really strongly at home and that starts with York on Tuesday night.”
See the full interview as well as the thoughts of Johnjoe Kenny as he signed a new deal with the U’s, all in Yellow Player HD.
It’s another massive test so get behind the U’s and book your place. Visit www.oufctickets.co.uk or call 01865 337533 to join us for a fascinating evening of live football under the floodlights.