Michael Appleton is waiting on the fitness of two centre backs as he prepares to pick his first competitive line-up as Oxford United’s head coach.
Johnny Mullins (dead leg) and Jake Wright (ankle) have been nursing minor problems picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Wolves in pre-season.
Aside from long-term absentees goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and midfielder Andy Whing, the defenders are the only players struggling to make the opening game against Burton Albion.
He said: “If they’re both back then happy days, we’ll go into the campaign with a clean bill of health, with the exception of Whingy and Clarkey.
“I’m certainly not expecting both of them to be fit, if they are it would be a big bonus, but if we can get one of them fit I’d be delighted.”
Even if the pair are fit, Michael Raynes is pushing for a start in the heart of defence after a strong pre-season.
In addition to a host of signings in line to make their competitive bows today, another debutant looks set to be Jon Meades.
The midfielder signed more than a year ago, but was unavailable for the whole of last season after sustaining a serious ankle injury.
Burton, who have reached the play-offs for the past two seasons, will be without Damien McCrory, Jimmy Phillips and Lee Bell, who all have knee injuries.
Oxford Utd: from G Long, Riley, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Collins, Meades, Potter, Brown, Hylton, Morris, Roberts, O’Dowda, Rose, Shama, Ruffels, Ashby, Hunt, S Long, Mullins, Crocombe.
Burton: from McLaughlin, Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft, Akins, Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald, McGurk, Beavon, Kee, Harness, Palmer, Lyness, Knowles, McFadzean, Slade, Doyle.
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Latest United news:
9:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015
Michael Appleton is confident Oxford United’s strong form at the end of the season can be translated into prolonged success across the whole of the next campaign.
12:20pm Monday 4th May 2015
Michael Appleton wished the end of the season was still a month away after Oxford United continued their strong form with a 1-0 win at Newport County.
12:10pm Monday 4th May 2015
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11:50am Monday 4th May 2015
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