Oxford United’s weekend off has served them well with several key players able to use a week with no game to edge towards full fitness once more.
“Josh Ruffels will train” Karl Robinson told iFollow today “and Jamie Hanson is back and joining full training and will hopefully be available next weekend.
“Cameron Brannagan is back out there running today and will be back soon. Probably not next Saturday but soon after, and Ben Woodburn’s protective boot came off yesterday so he is maybe three weeks away, so everyone is slowly coming back now.
“George Thorne is in a much better place and Malachi Napa is in a fantastic place right now, starting to do some running work. It will still be March for him but the specialist is surprised, and delighted, by the speed he is healing, which means he is doing everything right. So we are doing well in relation to injuries, although it is still 'as you were' as we prepare for a very difficult afternoon on Saturday.”
“We have had a little break but we had a double session Monday and then a game on Tuesday so we have been in all week and working hard and we will fine tune things on Friday to make sure we find the same rhythm this Saturday we had before the break.
“We know Southend will be difficult. Oxford’s record there is poor, mine is the same, but we know that Southend are going to be better than they have been and we will look at them in depth but also make sure we are right ourselves. We know the first 15 minutes are going to be massive and it’s not going to be nice and pretty. We just have to be ready for the fight.”
See the full interview plus the preview Show, in iFollow