9:30am Saturday 7th September 2013
By David Pritchard
Danny Rose will be satisfied to play an unsung role this afternoon if it means another Oxford United player can grab the glory with a win at Burton Albion.
The clash at the Pirelli Stadium will be between two of the three unbeaten sides in Sky Bet League Two.
United head into the game on the back of frustrating home draws against Wyc-ombe and Rochdale.
Rose was arguably their best player in both games, but the 25-year-old would willingly sacrifice another man-of-the-match award for the sake of the team.
He said: “I don’t mind if someone like Kits (Dave Kitson), Beano (James Constable) or Alfie (Potter) are getting the plaudits for not doing loads in the game, but scoring a goal in the 85th minute.
“That water carrier tag can be a bit unsung, but as long as we’re winning games it’s not too big a deal.”
Rose is likely to be a key player for the visitors, though, with the midfielder expecting to have a battle on his hands against a physical Burton side.
He said: “It’s always a tough job – you have to do all the elements of the game.
“We know that if we’re going to have a good chance in the game, we’re going to have to get the better of their two midfielders.”
Andy Whing missed training earlier this week after picking up a knock to his ankle late in the 1-1 draw with Rochdale.
He is expected to be fine by today, so United could be unchanged.
Top-scorer Deane Smalley is in line for a return to the squad after missing the last two games with a hamstring problem, but may not start.
Mickey Lewis, United’s assistant manager, said: “It looks like he’ll be involved.
“He’s not 100 per cent at the moment, but I think he should be all right.
“It’ll be good to have him around, even if it’s only on the bench.”
Burton were in Johnstone’s Paint Trophy action in midweek, making five changes in a 1-0 defeat at Notts County.
But boss Gary Rowett is likely to go with the side which won at Accrington Stanley a week ago.
Striker Billy Kee (thigh) is definitely unavailable, while defender Zander Diamond (foot ligaments) is a doubt.
Burton Albion: Lyness, Delap, Sharps, Holness, McCrory, McGurk, Bell, Reed, Hussey, Howe, Symes, Edwards, Weir, Phillips, Dyer, Palmer, Knowles, Morch.
Oxford Utd: Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Potter, Whing, Rose, Hall, Constable, Kitson, Smalley, Marsh, Williams, O’Dowda, Davies, Ruffels, Raynes, Crocombe.
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