Oxford United will be boosted by the return of both Ben Woodburn and John Mousinho as they travel to Shrewsbury on Saturday.
Woodburn has been missing since the start of October with a foot injury but will join up with the squad again this weekend while Mousinho has recovered from a knee problem and may be fit enough to return to the bench.
“Ben will be at the game on Saturday but not in the squad” Karl told iFollow today. “He will stay at Liverpool until the weekend and then he drives to Shrewsbury, links up with the lads and then he’s back with us again from then on.
“Hopefully he will be available next weekend and I will have a big decision on what I do there. We will have a behind closed doors friendly next week and look at everyone and where we are because hopefully we can have two players for every position for the run in. Mous will travel on Saturday as well, which is more good news. Rob Dickie is on nine bookings and Elliott Moore’s partner is due to have a baby next Friday so having Mous available again is good timing.”
The U’s travel to a Shrewsbury side managed by former United youngster Sam Ricketts, a young manager who Karl has plenty of time for:
“We are coming up against a very good squad with a Manager I have amazing respect for. Shrewsbury are finding an identity because of him and his coaching staff and obviously they have an affiliation with this club because of where they started their careers. So there is a lot of respect and we know it will be a difficult afternoon and we will have to be at our best to get anywhere near them.
“Ten games to go and we have to stay nice and calm. We are working in blocks of three games and Saturday ends the third one of them and then we reset. We have tried to take away the league table and focus on smaller targets and there is a good calmness but no sign of any complacency.
“There is so much external pressure and you can keep looking at what other teams are doing so it’s easy to forget the most important thing, which is yourself. There is a nice feeling around the place but there is also a steeliness to us as well…”
See the full interview plus a Preview Show featuring Alex Gorrin, all in iFollow right now.