Hot Shots key to Oxford United's play-off hopes

Oxford Mail: Old boy: Josh Payne Old boy: Josh Payne

IF OXFORD United get into a winning position tomorrow, attention will turn to Gresty Road, where rivals Crewe Alexandra wrap up their campaign against Aldershot.

If the U’s are hoping for a favour from the visitors, they could look to one of their former players to come up trumps.

Josh Payne made 39 appearances in a season and a half with the club, before joining the Shots in January.

The ex-West Ham trainee scored just once for United, but another goal tomorrow could prove crucial to his former club.

Although Aldershot have nothing tangible to play for, United manager Chris Wilder believes Dean Holdsworth’s side will be doing all they can to get a result.

He said: “Knowing what Dean’s like he will want to go to Crewe and win because they will want to finish as high as they can, just like I was at the end of last season.

“At the Lincoln game (United’s last home game of 2010/11) we were 1-0 down and I was doing my nut. We’re football people, we want to win at everything.”

But the same also stands for Port Vale, whose promotion hopes were ended in March when they were deducted ten points for going into administration.

Thrashed 5-0 at Swindon Town last weekend, Vale boss Micky Adams stressed there was no chance the season will be allowed to fizzle out.

He said: “Far from experimenting, I’ll pick a strong side that will give them a game and we’ll try to win it ourselves.

“We want to go into the close season feeling half-decent about ourselves.

“We will always put out a team to win the game because I don’t like losing – simple as that.

“There’s nothing worse when you go home on a Saturday knowing you have lost.

“Normally, there is a next game, but not after Saturday, so we want to make sure we feel good about ourselves into the summer break.”

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