WHILE the tug-of-war continues over Oxford United’s long-term future at boardroom level, there is a danger the day-to-day business is being harmed.
It is just five weeks until the season kicks off at home to Burton Albion and as it stands the first-team squad looks threadbare.
Despite two months of searching, head coach Gary Waddock has only been able to bring in striker Danny Hylton.
Only Exeter City, who are operating under a transfer embargo, and Accrington Stanley have made fewer signings than the U’s in Sky Bet League Two this summer.
Waddock has a 23-man squad, but it is light on experience.
Of the group, five have never played a minute of senior football and another five have featured in fewer than 15 first-team games.
Add in injuries to Ryan Clarke and Andy Whing, who could miss the start of the season, and the U’s are left with 11 senior players.
The club’s policy of promoting young, homegrown talent is a good one, but they need support.
It is clear reinforcements are needed before the campaign begins if Waddock is to have the tools he needs to build a side which can compete.
This is a crucial phase of the calendar and as long as there is uncertainty over the club’s ownership it is difficult to see how further signings can be sealed.
Bookmakers already believe United are twice as likely to get relegated as they are to win the league next season.
The longer this limbo goes on for, the more the odds will stack up against the U’s.
Regardless of whoever ends up owning the club, it is vital not to lose focus on what happens on the pitch.
Latest United news:
9:30am Saturday 31st January 2015
Danny Hylton has warned Oxford United will get “eaten alive” at Stevenage today unless they match their hosts’ appetite for a battle.
8:30am Saturday 31st January 2015
Oxford United are likely to hand debuts to full backs Joe Skarz and Richard Brindley at Stevenage this afternoon.
2:00pm Friday 30th January 2015
DANNY Hylton is reluctant to make predictions about his scoring tally but acknowledged he would be disappointed if this season was not the best of his career in front of goal.
12:40pm Friday 30th January 2015
Oxford United travel to Stevenage tomorrow and here are all our stories previewing the match in an interactive graphic.
9:30am Friday 30th January 2015
RICHARD Brindley is raring to make his Oxford United debut at Stevenage tomorrow after joining on loan yesterday.