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FOOTBALL: Deane's out to put the boot in
Deane Smalley wants Oxford United to be ruthless and make the most of Accrington Stanley’s struggles tomorrow.
The U’s are odds-on to extend the best away record in Sky Bet League Two against James Beattie’s side, who are five points adrift at the bottom.
Stanley, yet to win a league game this season, conceded a late equaliser at AFC Wimbledon to draw 1-1 last weekend.
Smalley expects a test, but thinks if United are going to fulfil promotion ambitions this season, they need to make the most of games against teams at the bottom.
He said: “If teams are struggling we need to stick the dagger in.
“We can’t be coming away from there, or from a string of away games, thinking ‘we should’ve won that game, but we’ve come away with nothing’.
“If we want to succeed, we need to put a run together, like we did at the start.
“We’ve had our blip and hopefully we can put another run together.” Accrington are into their eighth successive season in League Two, which is a notable achievement for a club whose average gate of 1,929 this season is lower than eight sides in the Skrill Premier.
malley was on target in a 3-0 win at Accrington in the final game of last season and is well aware of the Crown Ground’s quirks, including cramped facilities which require visiting teams to get changed in shifts.
He said: “I think it’s just the starting XI at first who go in and get their kit on, then they stand in the showers and wait for the subs to get their kit on.
“The showers are freezing cold, it’s not the best, but we’ll put that to one side like we did last year and hopefully put in a good result.”
Smalley is United’s joint top scorer, but may only make the bench tomorrow after James Constable and Dave Kitson starred in the 2-0 win against Northampton Town last Saturday.
The 25-year-old said: “It might be the same on Saturday, Beano and Kits might score and I’ll have to sit patiently.
“If I begin on the bench and my opportunity comes up I’ve got to take it with both hands.
“I can’t just come on and give an average performance, because I know I won’t be playing on the Tuesday.”
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