Chris Wilder expects a big improvement in performance from Oxford United today to prove last Saturday’s flat display was a one-off.

The U’s missed an opportunity to claim three vital points as they were lacklustre in a 1-1 draw at home to Aldershot Town last weekend.

Fatigue, a heavy pitch and the moving tributes to former teammate Mitchell Cole were all put forward afterwards as contributory factors.

But after a blank week following the postponement of Wednesday’s FA Cup replay, United’s squad head to Morecambe today refreshed.

And Wilder is confident of a much more accomplished showing.

The United manager said: “We like to play through teams so we take a lot of passes, we don’t just go from A to B quickly, so there are days where players will not pass the ball as well as they can do. “Saturday was one of those days, but in that we still created four or five decent chances – it’s not all doom and gloom.

“It was a tough week but we’ve got over it and put it to bed. “We need to pass the ball better and keep it, which generally they do.

“But the bravery of those players in getting on the ball was important and nobody shied away from it. “When you do have problems is when people don’t want to take responsibility and I never had that on Saturday.”

With a round trip of more than 420 miles, Morecambe is United longest away journey of the npower League Two season, meaning an early start for United’s supporters travelling to watch the 1pm kick-off.

Despite the marathon trek, the Globe Arena has been a happy hunting ground.

On their first visit two seasons ago United won 3-0, while a goalless draw last year ended a run of defeats and provided a launch pad to a strong run.

United’s main selection decision is whether to start top scorer Tom Craddock, who looked rusty coming off the bench last weekend following an injury lay-off.

If he remains on the bench the visitors could be unchanged, with Alfie Potter recovering from an ankle injury.

Simon Heslop begins a three-game suspension, while it is likely to be too soon for Michael Duberry, despite playing in a practice match on Thursday.

The week without a game will be a boost for players like Damian Batt, Liam Davis and Peter Leven, all of whom had been playing having just returned from injuries.

Morecambe have Andy Fleming available after suspension, but have a doubt over goalkeeper Barry Roche, who was forced off with a back injury in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Wycombe Wanderers.


Morecambe: from Roche, Wright, McCready, Fenton, Mustoe, Drummond, McDonald, Fleming, Alessandra, Redshaw, Ellison, Haining, Reid, Arestidou, Threlfall, Doyle, Parkinson, McGee.

Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Chapman, Leven, Davis, Rigg, Constable, Craddock, Marsh, Forster-Caskey, Cox, Worley, O’Brien, Brown.