10:00am Friday 26th July 2013
By Nick Farrant
OXFORD City boss Mike Ford has urged his players to use their 5-1 midweek thrashing of a young Oxford United side as a springboard when they host Wycombe Wanderers at Marsh Lane tonight (7.30).
A double from Albi Skendi, who last night completed a move back from Banbury United, Declan Benjamin, Tom Winters and Josh Green sealed the victory, following their successes against Aylesbury United (1-0) and Didcot Town (4-0).
“I said to the players after the game that the result and the performance should be a springboard to move forward,” said Ford.
“And we have to make sure that, whichever XI and subs that we put out, we do it again tonight.
“We have to play with the same discipline that we played against United.
“Last year, I was prepared to let the players go and deviate from what I wanted them to do, but I want us to play with a bit more discipline.”
Ford said: “With the new signings we have made, we have got a lot of competition for places.
“Lee Henderson, who was left out with a calf problem, and Andy Gunn will have the chance to push for a place at centre back.
“Adam Maabdi will start and probably Victor Francoz. They have done really well for us, so have been given six-week trials.”
Meanwhile, Ford has praised the determination of Benjamin to nail down a first-team berth ahead of the Conference North kick-off on August 17.
For the second half of last season, the former United youngster played at right back, but the arrival of specialist defender James Clifton means his role will change.
“Declan played really well there for us last season, but I felt we needed a full back that knew the job.
“But full credit to Declan, he has been fantastic in pre-season.
“He has thought to himself ‘If I’m not going to play in defence, then I’m going to make sure I get a place in the team somewhere’.
“He warranted his place in the side (against United).”
City are likely to name a similar squad to the one that played on Tuesday.
Ford added: “It was nice to win against United, but being undefeated is not just by chance.
“A winning habit is great and we have yet to concede a goal in open play (United scored through an Asa Hall penalty).
“The other night I thought I didn’t want the game to end 4-3.
“The worst-case scenario was 4-1, but we’ve got another good goal at the end.”
Banbury United host Calor League Division 1 Central side Kettering Town tomorrow (3pm).
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