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FOOTBALL: City to give French keeper Francoz his debut
Oxford City boss Mike Ford says he has no qualms about throwing their French keeper Victor Francoz into the fray when his strugglers travel to leaders Altrincham tomorrow.
Francoz, 23, who was born near Lyon, played on trial at Marsh Lane in the summer and Ford says the 5ft 10ins stopper could be the key to ending their six-match winless run.
He replaces former Salisbury keeper Mark Scott, who has played in City’s opening six games.
“Victor is a fantastic shot-stopper and kicks the ball well,” said Ford.
“He came over on a trial from America which was organised by Thomas Guerriero and I picked him out, along with Adam Maabdi.
“Victor is a bright and bubbly character. He’s a decent keeper.
“Mark has been doing okay, but is looking a bit edgy. “I think it’s time we took him out of the firing line.
“He needs to have a rest and then come back and try again.
“We’ve been conceding too many goals, so that has got to stop.”
Ford says he is relishing the trip to Altrincham, who boast goal-machine Damian Reeves, not dreading it.
“It’s a free game because we’re not expected to get anything and if we do then it’s a real bonus.
“We’re not fearful, we’re really looking forward to it.
“They’ll be 800 people there, 95 per cent will be supporting Altrincham, and they will expect them to beat us in third gear.
“I remember years ago as an Oxford United player going to Derby County, who were going well and we were expected to lose.
“But our keeper (Paul Reece) made about 25 saves and we scored from our only chance when John Durnin popped one in and we won 1-0.
“So I want us to go there and be positive.”
Meanwhile, Ford said French winger Maabdi had been released.
He added: “Adam has gone back to France. I was honest with him and told him I couldn’t see him featuring for us.”
Frontman Jamie Cook is unavailable for the trip to the north west.
Tomorrow’s squad Oxford C (v Altrincham, away): Francoz, Clifton, Stonehouse, Malone, Henderson, Willmott, Williams, McNish, Symons, Winters, Basham, Pond, Ballard, Learoyd, Benjamin, Scott.
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