Oxford United turn to youth to fill void

9:00am Friday 21st March 2014

By David Pritchard

SKY BET LEAGUE TWO

OXFORD United will turn to youth as they plug holes against Hartlepool United tonight caused by injury and suspension.

Tom Newey and Michael Raynes are suspended after red cards in the 3-0 defeat at Chesterfield last Saturday, while Johnny Mullins misses out with an ankle injury picked up late in the game.

Caretaker manager Mickey Lewis is planning to promote less experienced players in their place.

He said: “We’re going to have a young side out.

“Matt Bevans, Sam Long, all those people are in with a chance of playing.

“Young players have a natural enthusiasm and it’s almost like they’ve got nothing to lose.

“When those players have come in they have given the senior players a lift with their enthusiasm.

“You’d be daft to put ten young players out there, but sometimes a burst of youth is a good thing.”

Dave Kitson (hamstring) is also unlikely to make the squad.

Hartlepool will have to make one change from the side which began the 4-0 home win over Bristol Rovers last weekend.

Andy Monkhouse (hamstring) is out for a month and is likely to be replaced in midfield by Jack Compton.

Neil Austin is out for the rest of the season with a toe injury, but Michael Duckworth is available again.

TONIGHT’S SQUADS

Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Bevans, Hunt, Wright, Davies, Williams, Rose, Ruffels, Rigg, Constable, Connolly, Smalley, Potter, O’Dowda, Whing, Wroe, Long, Crocombe.

Hartlepool: from Flinders, Richards, Collins, Burgess, Holden, Walker, Walton, Barmby, Compton, Harewood, James, Rowbotham, Franks, Sweeney, Hawkins, Poole, Duckworth, Rafferty.

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