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United fans can make the difference, says Capaldi
Tony Capaldi said the support of Oxford United fans would be a key factor in helping them earn a good result from today’s clash with high-flying Port Vale.
The U’s showed they can take on the best sides in npower League Two with a 1-0 win at leaders Gillingham on Tuesday.
Strong results on the road have been the backbone of the Valiants’ title bid and they are looking to extend an unbeaten away run to ten games – which would equal a club record.
Capaldi came into the U’s side on Tuesday and knows the challenge will be just as tough today against the division’s top scorers.
He said: “They have a lot of goal threats in their team, so we’ll have to be on our game.
“It’s a good chance for us to show what we can do and I’m sure the supporters will be right behind us.
“It’s not one of those games where we’re expected to go out and steamroller a team. I’m sure they realise it will be a tough game and will get behind us.
“It’s not too late, there are still 12 games to play and we can still achieve something this season.
“But we have to kickstart now. Until it’s mathematically impossible to make the play-offs there is always a chance, but it’s getting to that stage now where we can’t keep dropping points and losing games.
“It’s time for us to pick up some results.”
Wilder reshuffled his side for the trip to Kent, with Deane Smalley and Alfie Potter coming in up front for Tom Craddock and James Constable.
Simon Heslop and Capaldi also started in a shaken-up midfield and the United boss hinted he may stick with the players who delivered on Tuesday.
He said: “Maybe it will be a time to say go again.
“We may tweak one or two positions, but a front- foot performance is needed and they certainly produced that on Tuesday.”
Vale have no new injury concerns and could welcome back veteran goalscorer Lee Hughes, who has recovered from flu.
He is expected to come in for Calvin Andrew to play alongside Tom Pope, who has scored 27 times this season, but is going through a mini-drought and is without a goal in his last six games.
Oxford Utd: from McCormick, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Davis, Heslop, Chapman, Capaldi, Rigg, Potter, Smalley, Constable, Craddock, Parker, Whing, Worley, Duberry, O’Brien, Crocombe.
Port Vale: from Neal, Duffy, Purse, McCombe, Jones, Myrie-Williams, Burge, Loft, Vincent, Pope, Hughes, Yates, Taylor, Dodds, Shuker, Morsy, Birchall, Andrew.