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U's players have last chance to impress boss Wilder
A HOST of Oxford United players will head into today’s clash with Acc-rington Stanley knowing it could be their final game for the club.
Just two members of the side – Michael Raynes and Sean Rigg – which started the 3-0 home win over Rochdale a week ago have contracts beyond this summer.
The rest, including Michael Duberry, Damian Batt and Alfie Potter, will have to wait until next Thursday before finding out if they will be offered new deals.
All will be hoping to make the most of one final opportunity to impress, as United attempt to sign off with a run of three straight wins.
The npower League play-offs may be out of reach, but manager Chris Wilder, who signed a new 12-month contract this week, is keen to sign off for the summer with a winning streak.
He said: “That’s the aim, I was delighted for us to finish our disappointing home campaign on a real high against Rochdale.
“We’ve been excellent away from home and it will be full steam ahead because we want to finish as high as possible.
“We’ve had tough games against Accrington this season, but we know there’s a good chance we can end up ninth if we win and that’s all we’ll be focusing on.”
It is the fourth time the sides have met this season.
United romped to a 5-0 win at the Kassam Stadium in October’s reverse league fixture.
Their visit to the Crown Ground six weeks later was far tougher and they needed an injury-time header from Raynes to earn a 3-3 draw in the FA Cup second round.
The U’s went through with a 2-0 home win in the replay, but Accrington have improved since and are League Two’s form team.
Bottom of the division last month, Leam Richardson’s men have picked up 17 points from the last 24 to guarantee their Football League status.
U’s skipper Jake Wright missed the Rochdale win with a back problem and remains a doubt.
He said: “I want to play and will do everything I can with the physio (Andy Lord) to get fit.
“I’ve been playing through injuries all year and it’s one of those situations where if there’s a risk I’m not going to take it for the last game of the season.”
Striker Tyrone Marsh is in the squad after having his successful loan at Staines Town cut short, while youth team players Callum O’Dowda and Sam Long could finally be given a taste of first-team action from the bench.
Accrington Stanley: from Rachubka, Winnard, Molyneux, Aldred, Wilson, Liddle, Joyce, Hatfield, Linganzi, Boco, Amond, Beattie, Jeffers, Dunbavin, Hunt, Miller, Lindfield.
Oxford Utd: from Crocombe, Batt, Raynes, Duberry, Davis, Whing, Davies, Capaldi, Potter, Constable, Rigg, Smalley, Marsh, Pittman, O’Dowda, Heslop, Capaldi, O'Brien, Long, Worley, McCormick.
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