Dave Kitson is available to boost Oxford United’s attacking options against Fleetwood Town this afternoon.

A hamstring injury has limited the veteran forward to just half an hour in the last eight games, but he appears to have shrugged off the problem.

Kitson scored against Fleetwood in the reverse Sky Bet League Two fixture last November, claiming a 1-1 draw, and while a place in the starting line-up may be a step too far, he is likely to be in the squad.

U’s head coach Gary Waddock said: “Dave’s trained this week.

“Whether he’s 100 per cent match fit or not is another matter, but he’s in contention.

“He’s fit and available and we’ll see the make-up of the team come Saturday.”

Alfie Potter (groin) has joined Johnny Mullins (foot) in the treatment room, but United have Tom Newey available again following a three-game suspension.

He will almost certainly come straight back in at left back, allowing David Hunt to revert to his more favoured right back role, at the expense of Matt Bevans.

Fleetwood only have one senior player ruled out. Jeff Hughes broke his leg in January and while the midfielder is close to a return, today’s game will come too soon.

Andy Whing is certain Oxford’s form will turn, providing they can work harder than their opponents in the final month.

The U’s ever-present status in the top seven is under severe threat.

Only goals scored is keeping them in the play-off places after one win in nine games and the U’s urgently need a run of results to stay in the promotion race.

They were not helped by a phenomenally unfortunate own goal which gave Dagenham & Redbridge a 1-0 win a week ago.

But Whing believes the level of commitment showed in east London will yield results.

He said: “You’ve got to get yourself out of the rut because no-one is going to hand it to you on a plate.

“You’ve got to work your socks off and to be fair I thought we did that brilliantly on Saturday.

“The lads said that if we keep working that hard and keep plugging away it will happen for us and hopefully we’ll have that slice of luck that we haven’t had in the last few weeks.”

It marks Waddock’s first home game in charge and after two away defeats, the head coach is desperate to get off the mark.

He said: “We have to stand up and be counted.

“Would we have taken this position at the start of the season, with a chance of achieving what we want? I’m sure we would.

“The run of results isn’t good, but the key is the run from now until the end of the season.”


Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Hunt, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Williams, Whing, Ruffels, Rigg, Constable, Connolly, Smalley, Kitson, Davies, Wroe, Rose, Long, Bevans, Crocombe.

Fleetwood Tn: from Maxwell, McLaughlin, Pond, Roberts, Taylor, Goodall, Blair, Sarcevic, Morris, Ball, Hume, Matt, Parkin, Schumacher, Evans, Murdoch, Jordan, Davies.