Nicky Wroe said there was no hesitation in deciding to join Oxford United yesterday as the midfielder looks to earn a second Sky Bet League Two promotion in three seasons.

The 28-year-old trained with his new teammates for the first time yesterday morning after agreeing to a loan from Preston North End until the end of the season.

He is all set to make his debut against Portsmouth at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon, as United finally return to action after two weeks without a game due to the wet weather.

United have also brought in Jonathan Henly on loan from Reading to act as goalkeeping cover for the next month.

The 19-year-old signed in time to be included in the squad to face Portsmouth.

United needed to make a move due to Max Crocombe, who is normally Ryan Clar-ke’s deputy, picking up a shoulder injury.

Wroe, who was part of the Shrewsbury side which won automatic promotion in 2012, is out of contract at the end of the season, so a January move was always on the cards.

A loan back at the Shrews was coming to an end this month, and after hearing of United’s interest he was keen to move quickly.

He said: “With two or three weeks left at Shrewsbury there was no great rush.

“But this was the first option, and what a good option, so I jumped at the chance.

“I’ve played here against Oxford and always thought it would be a good place to play.

“I have friends who have played for (manager) Chris (Wilder) and they all had good things to say about him when I spoke previously, so I had no hesitation in coming down.”

Wroe has spent the last season and a half playing in League One, but had no qualms about dropping down.

“Obviously as a player you want to play as high as you can, but hopefully this step down might be a platform to go back up there again,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can stay in and around it, if not kick on and get to the top of the league.

“I see no reason why this club can’t get promoted.”

He is likely to partner Danny Rose in central midfield, replacing Asa Hall, who has returned to Shrewsbury after his loan expired.

The break in fixtures has allowed Ryan Williams to recover from an ankle injury sustained in the 2-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United on December 29, but Dave Kitson is out through suspension.

Portsmouth have also been active this week bringing in four players who could all make their debuts.

The best known is former Reading and England left back Nicky Shorey, who has arrived as a free agent along with strikers Jake Jervis and Ryan Taylor, while right back Daniel Alfei has joined on loan from Swansea City.


Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Williams, Wroe, Rose, Rigg, Smalley, Constable, Marsh, O’Dowda, Davies, Ruffels, Long, Raynes, Henly.

Portsmouth: from Carson, Alfei, Devera, Bradley, Painter, Whatmaugh, Racon, Wallace, Padovani, Holmes, Agyemang, Ertl, Awford, Maloney, N’Gala, Bird, Connolly, Harris, Shorey, Jervis, Taylor.