10:00am Friday 15th November 2013
By Nick Farrant
Oxford City manager Mike Ford has warned of the threat of former Oxford United striker Jefferson Louis when they take on Hendon at Harrow Borough in Sunday’s FA Carlsberg Trophy third qualifying round.
The 34-year-old, who has played for a host of clubs, has scored 15 goals in 20 games since joining the Ryman League Premier Division side in the summer from Brackley Town.
And Ford, who was assistant to U’s boss Ian Atkins when Louis signed in 2002 from Thame United, says the frontman cannot be ignored.
“His main strength is his physique – he’s a massive unit, he scores goals and is a real handful,” said Ford.
“We know what he can do. He’s their top-scorer and wil be up for this game.
“I first encountered him at Oxford United when I got a call from Andy Sinnott (ex-Thame boss) who said he had this lad that was 6ft tall and would we have a look at him.
“I told Ian about him and for a spell ‘Jeffo’ was good for us. He claimed that goal when Oxford beat Swindon in the FA Cup and then did that dance in the dressing room when he didn’t realise the cameras were on.
“He’s one of those players that when he is ‘on it’ he is on it.
“When he’s like that he can be virtually unplayable, but I believe we have got enough to cope with him.”
But Ford says Louis is just one aspect of what they will face at Earlsmead against Hendon who are 13th in their division.
He added: “We have to accept that as the higher-placed club, we are the favourites.
“We have to deal with that and try to win the game.
“I’m looking forward to it. There’s not many games being played on Sunday (Harrow are at home tomorrow), so the eyes of the world will be on us.”
City will be without their cup-tied on-loan Swindon striker Kayden Jackson, who has scored three goals in three games, so Ford has to decide who to play upfront.
“Tom Winters has also scored three in three and we have got people like Jamie Cook, who has done nothing wrong, and Marvin Robinson, who has been left on the bench by the form of Mike Symons,” said Ford.
“He’s been outstanding, so the decision for me is who will partner Symons.”
City will give late fitness tests to Winters and Chris Palmer (both hamstring injuries) and Chris Willmott (knee) before the trip to Harrow.
The draw for the first round will be made on Monday, November 18.
Oxford City (v Hendon, at Harrow Borough, Sun, 3pm): from Francoz, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Malone, Henderson, Learoyd, Palmer, Pond, Symons, Winters, Cook, Pook, McNish, Robinson, Scott.
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