After scoring a dramatic winner last weekend, Nicky Wroe is looking to turn provider and help improve Oxford United’s mediocre home form when struggling Torquay United visit today.

The on-loan midfielder was the difference a week ago, as his 87th-minute thunderbolt finally saw off ten-man Wycombe Wanderers to claim a precious 1-0 win at Adams Park.

It kept United in touch with the leading sides, but the squad know a worrying lack of good results at the Kassam Stadium must change if they are to stay in contention.

Wroe had a taster of how frustrating it can be on home soil a fortnight ago, making his debut in a goalless draw with Portsmouth.

The 28-year-old is keen to assume some of the creative responsibility as United look for just their fifth home win in 15 league games today.

He said: “Teams come to the Kassam and sit in, defend and try to catch us on the break.

“It’s up to us to break them down and we’ve got to be good enough to combat that.

“My game is about getting on the ball and making things happen.

“If I can chip in with a few goals it’s always helpful for the team, but as a midfielder, and especially where I play, I like to try to unlock defences.”

Wroe has played more games for Torquay than any other club in his career, after spending almost three years at Plainmoor from May 2008.

He insists taking on a former club will not add an extra edge.

“You can’t get too wrapped up in making a big deal about it,” he said.

“But it does make it a bit more special if you can do the business against a former club.”

There will also be another reunion, as new Torquay boss Chris Hargreaves returns to United, where he had two spells as a player.

Mickey Lewis, United’s assistant manager said: “I’ve spoken to Greavesey a few times over the last few months because we’ve played Bournemouth in development games when he was working down there.

“I wish him loads and loads of luck, after we play them.

“I’m sure he will have the Torquay lads fired up.”

Wroe will come back into Oxford’s XI after being cup tied in midweek, while Ryan Williams is expected to return after a back injury.

But Dave Kitson will again be missing with an ankle injury.

Torquay are without Ben Harding (foot) and Tom Cruise (knee).


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

Torquay Utd: from Poke, O’Connor, Pearce, Downes, Nicholson, Mansell, Lathrope, Labadie, Hawley, Stockley, Benyon, Rice, Tonge, Cameron, Craig, Bodin, Chapell, Goodwin.