Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt knows there is more to come from his side, despite their unbeaten start to the season.
City have won two and drawn three of their opening five matches and sit sixth in the Vanarama Conference North table table and travel to Harrogate Town tomorrow.
Merritt knows they can get even better, and believes a tough run of matches will test the capabilities of the squad.
“If anyone had said to me at the start of the season we would be unbeaten after five matches, of course I’d have taken it,” he said.
“The frustrating thing is that a couple of the drawn games could, and probably should, have been victories. We’d have been right up there then.
“It’s been a very encouraging start, but I have said to the players that I think we are only playing to about 70 per cent capacity at the moment.
“I really believe that we can get a lot better.”
Darren Mullings and Alejandro- Adrian Santiago miss the game through suspension – Mullings serving the last of a three-game ban and Santiago missing his one match.
Liam Malone (ankle) is a doubt.
Merritt revealed he is close to bringing in another two new faces, but is not sure whether they will be signed in time to feature tomorrow.
Harrogate are winless so far, but City are taking nothing for granted.
“I spoke to the North Ferriby manager this week and he said that Harrogate are a good side,” Merritt added.
“They have one of the biggest budgets in the league and although they haven’t won yet, are sure to be very tough opponents for us.
“We’ve got some really tough tests coming up, starting with Saturday.”
Oxford City (v Harrogate Tn, away): from Scott, Benjamin, Lapoujade, Malone, Pond, Brown, Rodriguez, Wilson, Del Alamo, Winters, Stonehouse, Green, Afolabi, Barcelos, Yussuf.
- 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 Sport news
2:00pm Friday 19th December 2014
BRIAN Howard’s situation at Oxford United is unclear after head coach Michael Appleton admitted he did not know whether the midfielder would be offered an extension to his short-term contract.
12:33pm Friday 19th December 2014
PIRI Weepu returns to the London Welsh starting line-up for tomorrow's Aviva Premiership fixture with Saracens at Allianz Park (KO 3pm).
12:00pm Friday 19th December 2014
JOSH Ashby is good enough to play in Oxford United’s side right now, but the teenager knows his time will come, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
9:40am Friday 19th December 2014
RONNIE Moore is braced for a tough first game in charge of Hartlepool United after comparing opponents Oxford United to Real Madrid.
9:30am Friday 19th December 2014
John Campbell admits it would be difficult to keep his kit on if he was able to make an impact on debut for Oxford United tomorrow.
Interactive match preview: Appleton and Hylton on goals; Moore likens United to Real Madrid; Howard's future; Ashby; club stalwart departs + video
9:34am Friday 19th December 2014
Get ready for kick-off with our interactive preview of Oxford United's trip to Hartlepool
9:10am Friday 19th December 2014
THERE were times earlier this season when it felt like Danny Hylton was scoring in every game, but Oxford United’s top scorer is not getting weighed down by a sudden barren run in front of goal.
9:00am Friday 19th December 2014
FINDING a predator to turn dominance into goals has been an Achilles’ heel for Oxford United this season, but Michael Appleton is hopeful two candidates will emerge over the festive period.
8:00am Friday 19th December 2014
ABOUT 150 supporters have taken advantage of Oxford United’s offer of free transport to tomorrow’s game at Hartlepool United.
7:30am Friday 19th December 2014
North Leigh boss Mark Gee admitted he is ‘wary’ of struggling Wantage Town as his side travel to Alfredian Park in Division 1 South & West of the Evo-Stik Southern League tomorrow, writes Matthew Bruce.