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Winnall Returns as U's Face Blackpool

Karl Robinson looks ahead to Saturday's home game

18 March 2021

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Oxford United look to build on a good win over Doncaster with another positive result against Blackpool this Saturday when the teams meet at the Kassam Stadium in Sky Bet League 1.

The two sides looked evenly-matched when they played out a 0-0 draw at Bloomfield Road earlier in the season

“The game at Blackpool was a big one for us” Karl Robinson told iFollow earlier. “We were in a difficult place back then, finding our feet with the new team and with covid and without fans we were finding it hard to get our rhythm.

“Our team has evolved, through luck at times and moments that are out of our control. We have changed and found a formula that suits the personnel. The team has found its own identity and personality and they are playing with a freedom at the moment. We keep people on the edge of the seats, or on the edge of their sofas at home!

“People were asking how we were going to play until the end of the season, whether we would play ‘with the handbrake off’ like I said after Tuesday. We always play like that! People know we press teams and get in people’s faces but you have to always know when to go for it: we took that handbrake off against Rotherham here last season and were 3-0 down by half time. So it can work both ways.

“But right now I am really happy with the players. That performance on Tuesday is one that the fans would have loved to be here for. We dipped a bit in the second half but our fans would have got us back up, I’m sure. To play like we did, to keep running and to keep the energy even with no fans there shows you how much the players care.”

United welcome Sam Winnall back into the squad, with defender Luke McNally now training full time and Anthony Forde also hoping to be involved again on Saturday.

“Sam will be back” Karl said. “Luke is training full time now. Anthony Forde missed Tuesday because of a family funeral. We followed the Government guidelines and rather than leave any doubt we followed those guidelines, we sent it to the EFL and got an email back saying they are happy with the procedures. He has to have a test on Friday and then we just have to wait and see if he passes that. Most importantly he was there for his family, which was more important to me than whether he was available Saturday or not.”

See the full interview plus the thoughts of Rob Atkinson in iFollow now, where Match Passes are available to see the whole game LIVE

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