Oxford City boss Mike Ford has praised the contribution of Mike Symons and now wants the big striker to get even better.

And Ford warned Symons, a summer capture from Worcester, that if he did not, he could risk losing out to Steve Basham.

The former Oxford United forward is added to the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Skrill North leaders North Ferriby United after missing the last three months with a calf injury.

“Basham is back in the fold, but Symons has done fine for us.” said Ford.

“Now we’re asking Mike to improve his game,.

“He’s at that age 27-28 where he has to impose himself as a target man or just disappear into the background.

“We just need a bit more from him. I want to know if Mike going to challenge himself or stay as he is now?

“We are more than aware of what Bash can do and he is raring to play, so he will be in contention (for a place).”

Ford says he is optimistic the North Ferriby game will get the go-ahead.

He added: “The prospects are very good. The pitch is excellent and unless there is torrential rain it will be on.

“We’ve had numerous training sessions with no game at the end of it, so we’re looking forward to playing a game.

“We faced them a few weeks ago (City lost 3-2) and I felt we should have won.

“We played well – our second-half performance was excellent – and we asked a lot of questions of them.

“They worked really hard and put us under pressure, but I felt at times they struggled to cope with us.

“We can go out and play our own game because we’ve got nothing to lose.”

City are without midfielder Liam Malone (suspended).

Oxford City (v North Ferriby Utd, away): from Scott, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Pook, Henderson, Willmott, Bell, Pond, Jackson, Cook, Winters, McEachran, Symons, Learoyd, Ballard, Basham, Joyce, West.