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Kitson: Why I'm cherishing every Oxford United goal

Oxford Mail: Dave Kitson celebrates in front of the Oxford United supporters after scoring at Fleetwood Town Dave Kitson celebrates in front of the Oxford United supporters after scoring at Fleetwood Town

AFTER making more than 450 appearances in a professional career spanning a decade, there is little which ruffles Dave Kitson’s calm exterior.

Even when slamming referee Mark Brown’s performance last month – for which he was fined by the Football Association – the 33-year-old remained measured.

But anyone at Fleetwood Town a fortnight ago saw a different side to the former Premier League striker.

After nodding a late goal to claim a 1-1 draw, he celebrated wildly in front of the travelling supporters.

It was his second goal for the club and expect a similar reaction if Kitson breaks his duck at the Kassam Stadium against Dagenham tomorrow.

Despite approaching 150 career goals, the header at Fleetwood meant a lot – because the veteran does not know how many more are ahead of him.

“It did because you don’t know when it might be your last,” he said.

“When I scored at Cheltenham (in September) I started to think ‘I wonder if that's my last ever goal’.

“I’ve scored again and now I'll be wondering the same thing.”

When the ex-Reading and Stoke City striker was signed in the summer, many were hoping he would challenge for the title of Sky Bet League Two’s top scorer.

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Since then it has become clear Kitson’s value lies in linking the play and creating chances for teammates. But there is a frustration he has not contributed more than two goals so far.

He said: “I’m not the striker that I was where I feel I have to score every game or every other game.

“I am aware as well that although I have been creating a lot of chances, I haven’t chipped in with enough goals, which I would have liked.”

Playing in a deeper role has been very effective, although Kitson admits it is still a work in progress.

He said: “It’s just trying to find the balance between that defensive part and the attacking part.

“The manager and the coaches have been helping me with that.

“It’s about timing my runs and getting used to the wingers and hopefully that will be the start of a few more goals now.”

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