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Oxford United skipper - bring on the Bees
JAKE Wright believes Oxford United’s hopes of beating Barnet tonight will be boosted by the visitors’ attacking approach.
The U’s have long struggled against teams in the bottom half of the npower League Two table, who come to the Kassam Stadium intent on stifling the game to take a draw.
Although the Bees are in good form, they will arrive just three points above the bottom two.
Wright, United’s captain, thinks the precarious position will force Barnet to try and win the game, giving the hosts room to exploit.
He said: “We have shown we find it difficult to break teams down when they put everyone behind the ball.
“We have a lot of possession but it’s difficult, we also had times like that last year.
“Hopefully Barnet will be open and try to play for the win, because I don’t think a draw is good enough.
“They don’t want to risk going for a draw when other teams around them might be winning.
“Hopefully it will be an open game and we can come out on top.”
The centre back is likely to be up against Dani Lopez, who scored a hat-trick in Barnet’s 4-1 win against Morecambe on Saturday.
The U’s skipper admitted to knowing little about the Spaniard, whose loan from Stevenage expires after tonight’s game, but is looking forward to taking on an in-form striker.
He said: “We have played against some big strikers recently but I don’t know that much about him.
“I’ve not played against him before but he’s obviously decent to score three goals at this level.
“It will be a good test for me, so I want to try to keep him quiet – I’ll see if I’m up to the challenge.”
The fixture is the first of two home games in four days for United, who host Chesterfield on Saturday.
Inconsistent form in front of their own fans has held the side back in recent weeks, with Rotherham United winning 4-0 at the Kassam a week ago.
Although United responded to beat Torquay 3-1 on Saturday, Andy Whing knows the side must turn it around now if they are to keep faint hopes of a late surge alive.
He said: “We need to get back on track at home, especially after the defeat last Tuesday.
“Games are running out so you have to be more consistent, especially at home in front of your own fans.
“It’s important to take as many points as we can from our home games – we need to step it up.”
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