United boss Appleton waiting on his central defenders

Jon Meades could make his long-awaited debut for United following a long-term injury

Jon Meades could make his long-awaited debut for United following a long-term injury

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Michael Appleton is waiting on the fitness of two centre backs as he prepares to pick his first competitive line-up as Oxford United’s head coach.

Johnny Mullins (dead leg) and Jake Wright (ankle) have been nursing minor problems picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Wolves in pre-season.

Aside from long-term absentees goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and midfielder Andy Whing, the defenders are the only players struggling to make the opening game against Burton Albion.

He said: “If they’re both back then happy days, we’ll go into the campaign with a clean bill of health, with the exception of Whingy and Clarkey.

“I’m certainly not expecting both of them to be fit, if they are it would be a big bonus, but if we can get one of them fit I’d be delighted.”

Even if the pair are fit, Michael Raynes is pushing for a start in the heart of defence after a strong pre-season.

In addition to a host of signings in line to make their competitive bows today, another debutant looks set to be Jon Meades.

The midfielder signed more than a year ago, but was unavailable for the whole of last season after sustaining a serious ankle injury.

Burton, who have reached the play-offs for the past two seasons, will be without Damien McCrory, Jimmy Phillips and Lee Bell, who all have knee injuries.

Oxford Utd: from G Long, Riley, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Collins, Meades, Potter, Brown, Hylton, Morris, Roberts, O’Dowda, Rose, Shama, Ruffels, Ashby, Hunt, S Long, Mullins, Crocombe.

Burton: from McLaughlin, Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft, Akins, Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald, McGurk, Beavon, Kee, Harness, Palmer, Lyness, Knowles, McFadzean, Slade, Doyle.

  •  Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Latest United news:

Roberts pushes claims for Oxford United recall after featuring in development squad victory

Oxford Mail:

6:30pm Wednesday 17th December 2014

JAMES Roberts edged closer to a first-team return for Oxford United after playing in a 2-0 win for the development side at Bournemouth.

Jake Wright's frustration as Oxford United miss out on Swansea clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 17th December 2014

OXFORD United’s shot at hosting Swansea City in the new year disappeared as they paid the price for failing to kill off Tranmere Rovers in their FA Cup second-round replay.

Tranmere Rovers 2 (Odejayi 36, Power 76), Oxford United 1 (Potter 29)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

9:42pm Tuesday 16th December 2014

OXFORD United's FA Cup hopes came to an end as they let a lead slip to lose their second round replay against Tranmere Rovers at a sodden Prenton Park.

Michael Appleton: Depleted Oxford United will attack FA Cup replay

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 16th December 2014

A lack of strikers will not stop Oxford United going on the attack against Tranmere Rovers in their FA Cup second round replay tonight, says head coach Michael Appleton.

Danny Hylton happy to lead the line in Oxford United's FA Cup replay

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 16th December 2014

Danny Hylton is unfazed by the prospect of carrying Oxford United’s goalscoring burden in the FA Cup tonight.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:29am Sat 9 Aug 14

Joe1 says...

ACCORDING WRIGHTS ARTICLE YESTERDAY HE IS FIT & RARING TO GO?????
WHAT A LOD OF NONSENSE.
ACCORDING WRIGHTS ARTICLE YESTERDAY HE IS FIT & RARING TO GO????? WHAT A LOD OF NONSENSE. Joe1
  • Score: 2

11:27am Sat 9 Aug 14

Abingdonox says...

And Johnny Mullins declared himself fit a week ago at the open day! A bit of reverse psychology going on her by our head coach, Fergy would be proud of him !
And Johnny Mullins declared himself fit a week ago at the open day! A bit of reverse psychology going on her by our head coach, Fergy would be proud of him ! Abingdonox
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree