9:30am Saturday 8th February 2014
By David Pritchard
Ryan Williams and Michael Raynes return to Oxford United’s squad today after recovering from injuries.
Williams has missed the last three games with a knee problem, but is available to start against Bristol Rovers – providing the match goes ahead. Raynes is back in contention after a hip problem.
The Memorial Stadium pitch was playable when protective covers were laid on Thursday and the Pirates are likely to appeal for volunteers this morning to help remove the sheeting.
No pitch inspection is planned, but heavy showers this morning could cause problems.
If the game gets the all-clear, U’s caretaker manager Mickey Lewis has some tough decisions to make.
Williams could replace Callum O’Dowda.
Raynes is unlikely to be 100 per cent, but if he is passed fit, it will probably see David Hunt return to full back and Matt Bevans drop to the bench.
Lewis said: “Raynesy is a strong competitor and he’s desperate to play, so we will just see how it goes.
“Ryan’s fit and available after a couple of days training.”
Rovers’ new signing, striker Steven Gillespie, is unlikely to start.
Midfielder Alan Gow yesterday joined Rovers on a swap loan deal from Exeter City, while Eliot Richards went to the Devon club.
Bristol Rovers: from Mildenhall, Smith, Parkes, McChrystal, Brown, Lockyer, Clarke, Gow, O’Toole, Mohamed, Harrold, Gillespie, Beardsley, Gough, Keary, Norburn, Santos, Clarkson, Harrison, Harding.
Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Hunt, Raynes, Mullins, Newey, Williams, Wroe, Rose, Ruffels, Smalley, Constable, Kitson, Connolly, Marsh, O’Dowda, Davies, Bevans, Long, Henly.
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