Ryan Clarke believes Oxford United will be in safe hands while he recovers from a foot operation as Max Crocombe prepares for a run in the side.
The surgery means the 32-year-old goalkeeper will be on the sidelines when the squad regroup for the first time later this week for fitness tests.
Clarke is expected to miss pre-season and could be on the sidelines for the first month of the new Sky Bet League Two campaign.
While U’s boss Gary Waddock will closely watch how Clarke’s recovery progresses, if a loan keeper is required for the opening games, it will be as a back-up to Crocombe.
The New Zealander, who turns 21 in the opening week of the season, has had to be patient.
After keeping three successive clean sheets at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, he did not play a minute of first-team football last season as Clarke excelled.
But United’s No 1 has the utmost confidence in his teammate.
Clarke said: “Max has got all the attributes to be a top keeper.
“He’s at an age now where he needs to be tested in pressure situations.
“It’s a good chance for him and he’s highly rated here.
“I hope he does brilliantly if he’s given the chance, because we want the club to have a good start.
“He’s been great for me since he’s come through.
“At the same time I will be looking to get fit, but I won’t take it for granted that I will get my place back.”
When it became clear last month the U’s No 1 needed an operation, Waddock quickly made it clear Crocombe, who played at the Under 20 World Cup for the Junior All Whites last summer, would fill the gap.
Clarke thinks his understudy would benefit from both the advance warning and the prospect of a prolonged run in the side.
He said: “If the manager has told him I think that’s a good situation for Max.
“It will be good for him to get his head round and he can fully concentrate on getting right for pre-season.
“It will give him a boost.”
8:30am Tuesday 21st April 2015
THE NUMBER of rapes across the county has gone up by more than 66 per cent and sex offences have increased by 35 per cent in the last year.
8:50am Tuesday 21st April 2015
A woman from Banbury who has been charged with the murder of 23-year-old Kyle Byfield will appear in Oxford Crown Court today.
8:00am Tuesday 21st April 2015
FORMER Blackbird Leys councillor Val Smith is being cared for in Sobell House Hospice after a long battle with cancer.
7:51am Tuesday 21st April 2015
Signalling problems that caused delays and cancellations between Oxford and Charlbury yesterday are set to last all of today.
7:20am Tuesday 21st April 2015
WHILE a fire raged at the Randolph Hotel on Friday, next door at the Oxford Playhouse it was a case of “the show must go on”.
7:10am Tuesday 21st April 2015
FORMER Randolph Hotel Maitre D’ Giuseppe Vurchio said he was shocked by Friday’s devastating blaze.
7:00am Tuesday 21st April 2015
THE Randolph Hotel is hoping to reopen by Monday after structural engineers said the building was safe.
6:30am Tuesday 21st April 2015
A MOTHER whose son was refused a place at his two first choice primary schools says she now faces a 40-minute walk to the one allocated by Oxfordshire County Council.
6:30am Tuesday 21st April 2015
PERSONAL references for an armed robber jailed for more than six years came from the Lord Mayor of Oxford and two city councillors.
6:10am Tuesday 21st April 2015
THE trust that will manage the primary school in the new Barton Park development was decided by councillors yesterday.
5:30am Tuesday 21st April 2015
A HOMELESS man given an anti-social behaviour order for trying to spread tuberculosis (TB) has gone on trial in Oxford Crown Court.
8:08am Monday 20th April 2015
THE manager of Oxford’s Randolph Hotel has said the fire caused millions of pounds of damage.
8:00am Monday 20th April 2015
FIRE crews were expected to return the flame-stricken Randolph Hotel to management today after spending the weekend making the building safe.
3:05pm Monday 20th April 2015
BEAUMONT Street is set to partly reopen later today after engineers assessed damage to the Randolph Hotel following Friday’s fire.
12:10pm Monday 20th April 2015
AN emotional Aidan Hawtin was overjoyed to make his professional debut for Oxford United, coming off the bench late on against Tranmere Rovers.
9:30am Monday 20th April 2015
Kemar Roofe insists he does not know where his future lies after netting his second double in a fortnight to help Oxford United to a 3-0 win at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
8:40am Monday 20th April 2015
THE quality of Oxford United’s first two goals had head coach Michael Appleton purring as his side thrashed Tranmere Rovers 3-0 at Prenton Park, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.
12:18pm Sunday 19th April 2015
WATCH the key moments from Oxford United's 3-0 win at Tranmere Rovers yesterday.
5:57pm Saturday 18th April 2015