Oxford United take on Cambridge United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday for what will be an emotional afternoon as the club and fans pay tribute to Joey Beauchamp.
“We will be ready for the game itself and we will do the right things to pay fitting tribute to Joey” Karl Robinson told us.
“I think I will be more nervous than I have been for any game here before, because I understand the occasion and the pressure it can bring for us to put in a performance for the fans. I don’t think we want to block it out, I think we want to try and use it. The players know what Joey meant to the fans and we want to try and use the passion that is going to be all around the stands and use it to help us.
“But we are playing against a team who will be fully motivated to beat us and we have to carry out our game plan in the middle of all the emotion of the day. You can never predict a result, that’s part of the game, but the one thing you can rely on is effort.”
United come into the game on the back of two away wins at Charlton and Crewe with the side switching to three at the back.
“When we got the news on Saturday I realised we were playing without wide men in a new formation. I’m not sure Joey would have liked that” Karl laughed. “We have struggled with the shape at times while we got used to it but I do think it suits the players we have available and it allows us to get Sam Baldock into the side alongside Matty Taylor and that gives us experience and also he is a leader which helps us.
“The shape helps Cameron and Herbie as a two and I think Gavin Whyte’s energy has been excellent and he has been playing as well as any time since he came back to us. He stretches teams and has been magnificent.
“Elliott Moore had a scan this morning; you can’t do that for 48 hours after a game because of the swelling so we will wait and see. He rolled an ankle in the first half then blocked a shot with the same foot in the second and made it a little bit worse so we will just make sure that settles down. But Marcus Browne has trained really well and James Henry played and scored in a friendly on Tuesday so they will both hopefully be involved.”
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