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 4th August 2015
COMMUNITY groups have been left stunned after discovering they are set to be turfed out of their homes under city council plans.
6:16pm Tuesday 4th August 2015
A WOMAN who made hundreds of thousands of pounds stealing designer handbags and selling them online has been ordered to pay back more than £140,000.
4:56pm Tuesday 4th August 2015
A WOMAN suffered minor injuries at a crash in Yarnton earlier today, according to Thames Valley Police.
1:59pm Tuesday 4th August 2015
AN ELDERLY lady has had a 100-year-old gold pearl brooch and 200-year-old gold pocket watch stolen from her house in Watlington.
9:00am Tuesday 4th August 2015
HEROES who fought in the Battle of Britain could be honoured by a flying club that wants to pay tribute to Oxfordshire Spitfire pilots.
9:00am Tuesday 4th August 2015
STAFF at First Great Western have vowed to walk out over the August bank holiday weekend, the RMT union has said.
7:00am Tuesday 4th August 2015
A TOURISM manager has called for more mid-range hotels in Oxford after the city was revealed as one of the most expensive destinations for travellers booking rooms.
6:30am Tuesday 4th August 2015
A SCHEME to transform the city’s West End will be delayed after the developer lined up to be a major partner pulled out.
6:00am Tuesday 4th August 2015
PLANS to force new medical consultants to sign seven-day contracts have been described as “cynical” by doctors in Oxfordshire.
11:04am Monday 3rd August 2015
THREE teenagers have been arrested after a man was assaulted in Oxford Castle Quarter in the early hours of yesterday morning.
8:30am Monday 3rd August 2015
A LONG-SERVING taxi driver has become so exasperated with Oxford’s roads that he has quit and found a new job.
7:54am Monday 3rd August 2015
There are delays on the A4142 Eastern By-Pass Road due to a traffic light failure.
6:00am Monday 3rd August 2015
A DEVOTED fundraiser and Blackbird Leys resident of 50 years was among the first to tell her story on camera for a heritage project.
11:32am Sunday 2nd August 2015
PART of Oxford Castle Quarter is cordoned off after a man was attacked in the early hours of this morning.
1:30pm Tuesday 4th August 2015
Our 12-page supplement packed with United news, pictures, stats and much more is out on Friday, August 7.
9:20am Tuesday 4th August 2015
OXFORD United chairman Darryl Eales wants to make open training sessions a regular event after hundreds of supporters watched the players get their first taste of the new Kassam Stadium pitch.
9:10am Tuesday 4th August 2015
RYAN Taylor is optimistic of being fit for the start of Oxford United's campaign this weekend.
9:40am Monday 3rd August 2015
MICHAEL Appleton declared Oxford United were ready for the competitive football to start after they outplayed Coventry City without getting their rewards in a goalless draw.
9:34am Monday 3rd August 2015
MICKEY Lewis is back in football less than a month after parting company with Oxford United.