8:00am Tuesday 31st December 2013
Oxford City manager Mike Ford expects better from his side as they travel to fellow Skrill North strugglers Gloucester City tomorrow.
Ford said he was disappointed in his side’s display in the 2-0 home defeat by Solihull Moors on Saturday.
City are just five points above the relegation zone at the halfway stage of the season and Ford wants better performances from his players in the latter half of the campaign.
“So far we’ve accumulated roughly a point per game and if that continues we’ll be in a relegation scrap right up until the end of the season,” he said.
“We need to control games, because we don’t keep the ball well enough to do that at the moment.
“If the players we’ve got can’t keep the ball well enough then they can find another club because I’m not prepared to keep watching them boot it forward all the time.
“Against Gloucester we’ll be playing at a League Two ground on a League Two pitch, so there are no excuses.”
Key to that transformation could be 21-year-old midfielder Callum McNish and after an impressive performance on Saturday, Ford hinted that the former Southampton youngster could play a bigger role.
“He could be a key instrument to our progress as a football club,” added Ford. “He’s a fantastic technician with the football and I think that he hasn’t always been given much of a chance at some of his other clubs.”
With the exception of the injured Steve Basham, City have a full squad to choose from with striker Mike Symons available for selection after missing Saturday’s defeat to Solihull.
Oxford City (v Gloucester City, away): from Scott, Ballard, Stonehouse, Benjamin, Learoyd, Willmott, Jackson, Malone, Symons, Pond, Winters, Pook, Cook, McNish, Bell, Henderson.
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