8:40am Friday 4th July 2014
WHILE the tug-of-war continues over Oxford United’s long-term future at boardroom level, there is a danger the day-to-day business is being harmed.
It is just five weeks until the season kicks off at home to Burton Albion and as it stands the first-team squad looks threadbare.
Despite two months of searching, head coach Gary Waddock has only been able to bring in striker Danny Hylton.
Only Exeter City, who are operating under a transfer embargo, and Accrington Stanley have made fewer signings than the U’s in Sky Bet League Two this summer.
Waddock has a 23-man squad, but it is light on experience.
Of the group, five have never played a minute of senior football and another five have featured in fewer than 15 first-team games.
Add in injuries to Ryan Clarke and Andy Whing, who could miss the start of the season, and the U’s are left with 11 senior players.
The club’s policy of promoting young, homegrown talent is a good one, but they need support.
It is clear reinforcements are needed before the campaign begins if Waddock is to have the tools he needs to build a side which can compete.
This is a crucial phase of the calendar and as long as there is uncertainty over the club’s ownership it is difficult to see how further signings can be sealed.
Bookmakers already believe United are twice as likely to get relegated as they are to win the league next season.
The longer this limbo goes on for, the more the odds will stack up against the U’s.
Regardless of whoever ends up owning the club, it is vital not to lose focus on what happens on the pitch.
9:30am Friday 19th September 2014
TOM Newey hopes Oxford United’s supporters will embrace the side’s progressive style after seeing them make it work for the first time at the Kassam Stadium.
9:20am Friday 19th September 2014
HIS varied CV may include a spell at arch rivals Swindon Town, but Brian Howard’s debut for Oxford United should have gone a long way to convince any doubters not to hold it against him.
9:00am Friday 19th September 2014
DEREK Fazackerley says he has been impressed by the way Michael Appleton has dealt with a challenging start to life as Oxford United’s head coach.
8:50am Friday 19th September 2014
MICHAEL Collins says he was moved by the support from Oxford United’s fans and staff during a difficult time earlier this month.
8:40am Friday 19th September 2014
GRAHAM Westley believes Oxford United’s new signings will help to make life difficult for Stevenage tomorrow.
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