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.”
7:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
A WOMAN who found a hidden camera in the shower of a hotel says she feels disgusted by the incident.
8:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN 880-PUPIL free school in Oxford has been hailed as the beginning of a new solution to the county’s shortage of places.
3:45pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 23-year-old man has been jailed for a year following the death of Long Hanborough man Richard Reed in a car crash last year.
3:28pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 34-year-old man has been arrested for aggravated burglary and criminal damage.
1:10pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A BURST pipe in Banbury is gushing water onto Broughton Road.
1:01pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A CYCLIST hit a driver with his helmet after a road rage incident near Wallingford.
12:45pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A radio was stolen from Wilko in Banbury and food and alcohol was taken from a Co-Op in town.
12:34pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
POLICE have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a series of shoplifting incidents in Wallingford.
11:57am Thursday 3rd September 2015
A MAN and a boy have been charged on suspicion of burglary from a funeral parlour in Wantage.
9:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN ANIMAL charity in Oxfordshire has launched an appeal to find a new home for one pet every hour by the end of the year.
8:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
WITH his surname, Jonathan Wynn was never going to settle for second best when he appeared on TV word game Countdown.
6:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
THE mother of one of the victims of the Bullfinch gang has described £16,500 compensation offered to her daughter as “utterly disgusting.”
6:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
THE number of complaints upheld by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) in Oxfordshire plummeted in 2014, despite an overall rise in grievances.
5:19pm Wednesday 2nd September 2015
A WOMAN who found a camera in the shower of a Travelodge has said she feels disgusted by the incident.
9:10am Thursday 3rd September 2015
MICHAEL Appleton is happy none of his players were nominated for a monthly award as he seeks to keep Oxford United under the radar.
8:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
JAMES Roberts has been earmarked for a loan move away from Oxford United, but head coach Michael Appleton was quick to make it clear the striker has a bright future at the club.
3:15pm Tuesday 1st September 2015
NO movement is likely in or out of the Oxford United squad before tonight's transfer deadline.
9:30am Tuesday 1st September 2015
OXFORD United pulled out of moves for high-profile targets over concerns they risked disrupting the spirit within the camp, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
9:20am Tuesday 1st September 2015
OXFORD United have not received any approaches for their players ahead of the transfer window closing tonight.