Oxford United’s cup heroics will mean nothing if they cannot deliver another performance at Mansfield Town this afternoon, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
The U’s will go into the game full of confidence following a 2-1 win away to Sky Bet League One side Bristol City on Tuesday night.
Now they head to Field Mill looking to get off the mark in League Two, after losing their opening game 1-0 at home to Burton Albion last weekend.
And Appleton has urged the players to pick up where they left off at Ashton Gate.
He said: “Ultimately that will be the message to the players going into the Mansfield game.
“As good as the feeling was after the game on Tuesday, it will almost feel like nothing if we don’t go and do the business.”
Today’s hosts are due to line up in the same way as Bristol City, but the U’s boss expects a very different type of contest.
He said: “Mansfield will probably be set up very similar to Bristol City with a 3-5-2 system.
“They will get the ball forward quickly and there will be a lot of times where we won’t be able to pass it as well as we would like and we’ll have to be solid, get clearances and win the second balls.
“But when we do get a chance to play, we must make sure we do it our way because hopefully we’ll be successful doing that.”
Josh Ruffels and Carlton Morris, forced off with dead legs in midweek are doubts, while Michael Raynes is still recovering after falling on his neck against Burton.
Danny Hylton is pushing for his first start after scoring the cup winner as a substitute, while on-loan striker Alex Jakubiak will be in the squad for the first time after signing Wednesday.
Mansfield have a host of fitness problems, but are hoping their main summer signing Liam Hearn has recovered from a knee injury.
Mansfield Tn: Studer, Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli, Beevers, McGuire, Heslop, Clements, Taylor, Fisher, Clucas, Hearn, A Bell, Murray, Jones, Thomas, Palmer, Belford, F Bell.
Oxford Utd: from G Long, Riley, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Collins, Meades, Potter, Hylton, Brown, Morris, Hunt, Jakubiak, Roberts, O’Dowda, Rose, Ruffels, Raynes, S Long, Crocombe.
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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