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:

Oxford United striker Danny Hylton says they are ready for Stevenage battle

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 31st January 2015

Danny Hylton has warned Oxford United will get “eaten alive” at Stevenage today unless they match their hosts’ appetite for a battle.

Oxford United duo Richard Brindley and Joe Skarz ready for first starts against Stevenage

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 31st January 2015

Oxford United are likely to hand debuts to full backs Joe Skarz and Richard Brindley at Stevenage this afternoon.

Oxford United top scorer out to surpass his highest goals mark

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 30th January 2015

DANNY Hylton is reluctant to make predictions about his scoring tally but acknowledged he would be disappointed if this season was not the best of his career in front of goal.

Interactive graphic: Get ready for kick off of Stevenage v Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

12:40pm Friday 30th January 2015

Oxford United travel to Stevenage tomorrow and here are all our stories previewing the match in an interactive graphic.

Oxford United new signing Richard Brindley raring to get stuck in

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 30th January 2015

RICHARD Brindley is raring to make his Oxford United debut at Stevenage tomorrow after joining on loan yesterday.

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