Batt wary of former U's players

United player Josh Payne now plays for Aldershot

United player Josh Payne now plays for Aldershot

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

Damian Batt has warned Oxford United to be on their guard against a trio of old boys who will be looking to impress for visitors Aldershot tomorrow.

Anthony Tonkin, Josh Payne and Danny Rose are all in line to face their former club for the first time since leaving the U’s.

Tonkin was released by United this summer, while Payne turned a loan spell into a permanent move.

Rose left United for Newport County in 2008, but has not come up against United since and is on loan with the Shots from Fleetwood Town.

Batt will be on the same flank as Tonkin, a good friend, tomorrow and knows the former U’s players will be desperate to be on top form.

He said: “They will obviously come with something to prove and we have to be mentally ready for that and anything they throw at us.

“I’ve not had any banter with them this week, although I think a few of the lads have spoken to Josh.

“When you go back to an old club you always have a point to prove, but as long as we’re prepared for that we’ll be fine.”

Batt only returned to the side last weekend after almost two months out with a torn groin muscle.

The 28-year-old came back slightly sooner than expected last weekend when Andy Whing, who had been deputising at right back, was stretchered off at Accrington Stanley.

Despite being forced back into action Batt came through the final 40 minutes of the FA Cup tie, plus 90 minutes in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday without any problems.

Batt said: “The cups are always nice, whatever competition it is, but really the victory and producing a good performance (tomorrow) is more important.

“There’s still a long way to go in the season and if we can put a string of results together you never know what can happen.”

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