Marcus Braddocks looks ahead to the Bank Holiday Monday visit of Oxford Uni
The season started quite well with positive results coming thick and fast. As the season settled down, so did Oxford who hovered around tenth place in League One. The club was in tenth place in January when manager Pep Clotet and Oxford parted company with a run of poor results cited as the cause. In their first League game after Clotet was dismissed the U's beat Charlton away 3-2 but they've only won once since then, a home win to Peterborough.
Although they have dropped considerably in League One, Oxford are more than likely safe from relegation having amassed 46 points with eight games to play. A couple of wins should be enough to ensure survival for another season in this division and given our list of missing players, new manager Karl Robinson may be hoping to get one for Easter.
Wes Thomas with nine league goals. Wes Thomas is well known to regular lower league supporters and according to Wikipedia he's been signed 18 times since 2005 although that does include a few loan moves to the clubs he later signed for. In his early career he played “non” league football for the likes of Thurrock and Waltham Forest. His most successful period came at Cheltenham where he scored 18 goals in 41 league games. He's spent time with Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Birmingham and Rotherham to name four of his clubs and has been with Oxford since 2016.
Jack Payne 10
Ryan Ledson 5
Five in home games and five in away games. Last clean sheet: Feb 24th Northampton 0-0 Oxford.
Stats (based on Oxfords away form)
The U's have earned an average of 1.05 points per game and have won 26% of their away games.
They score an average of 1.2 per away game, slightly above the league average.
Oxford score 74% of their away goals in the second half with 18 scored so far this season. They also concede 64% of their away goals in the second half with seven conceded in the last fifteen minutes.
Referee - Sebastian Stockridge from Tyne and Wear. Games this season: 35 . Yellow cards: 115. Red cards: 6.
Assistants - Gareth Mellor and Kevin Morris
Fourth official - Joseph Johnson
We will be without Abu Ogogo who is suspended and Toto Nsiala who has fractured his cheekbone.
We really need something positive against Oxford after the result at Rochdale but Oxford will want a say in the result too. They have new manager Karl Robinson in charge now and he may well see this game as one to get something from with a team trying to impress the new manager.