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Shake-up not the answer, says Oxford United boss
9:00am Tuesday 20th November 2012 in Sport
There be no radical shake-up for Oxford United as they head for a crunch clash with Barnet (8pm) on Tuesday looking to halt a poor run of form.
The U’s have taken one point from a possible nine in the last fortnight and following a last-minute 2-1 defeat at Chesterfield on Saturday, they are closer to the relegation zone than the play-off places in npower League Two.
But while results have left a lot to be desired, there has been little obviously wrong with the performances.
United boss Chris Wilder believes there is a fine line separating his side from an upturn, so does not see a reason to make major alterations.
He said: “I don’t really think we need to take a wrecking ball to the team.
“I don’t look at my team and think they’re turning it in. I don’t look at them and think we’re a shambles and are all over the place.
“I think we’re playing decent football, we look organised and solid, but we’re getting punished for little errors and we’re not punishing teams when we’re on top.
“I don’t see anybody running over the top of us, but it’s important that in both boxes we’re a little bit better.”
United visited Underhill less than three weeks ago, when they ran out 2-0 winners in the FA Cup first round.
They would dearly love a repeat tonight, as another setback would only serve to increase the pressure on the squad – and Wilder in particular.
The U’s boss is aware of what is at stake.
He said: “I understand we will come in for criticism and there will be voices on forums, but we have to make sure that we believe what we’re doing is right.
“From an individual point of view, it’s not a good time for me.
“Am I a better manager than I was when I walked through the door here? Most certainly, but people will be saying other things. It’s up to me to keep calm and lead the boys.”
Sean Rigg will start after shaking off the virus which restricted him to a substitute appearance on Saturday, while Liam Davis (hamstring) will have a late fitness test.
Lee Cox is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Saturday, with Adam Chapman likely to deputise.
The main selection issue is over who partners James Constable up front, with Tom Craddock and Deane Smalley injured.
Alfie Potter got the nod on Saturday, but he could revert to his more familiar wide role, leaving Jon-Paul Pittman and Tyrone Marsh to battle it out for a starting place.
Edgar Davids is suspended for the home side, who are unbeaten in their last three league games at home.
Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Whing, Mullins, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Cox, Leven, Rigg, Constable, Pittman, Marsh, Heslop, Forster-Caskey, Chapman, Davis, O’Brien, Raynes, Worley, Brown, Roberts.
Barnet: from Stack, Fuller, Pearce, Stephens, Brown, Kamdjo, Byrne, Lee, Nurse, Hyde, Holmes, Cowler, Fortune, Weston, Yiadom, Edgar, Lowe, John, Allen, Abdullah, Saville.