WILL Hoskins is champing at the bit to get started at Oxford United and the striker is hopeful he can make his debut at West Bromwich Albion tonight (8).

The 28-year-old has not played since rupturing cruciate knee ligaments in February 2013, but has now fully recovered and passed a medical on Saturday before signing a one-year contract with the U’s.

Providing his registration is processed in time, something complicated by yesterday’s bank holiday, Hoskins will be available to play in the Capital One Cup second round tie at the Hawthorns.

The former Watford and Brighton forward cannot wait.

He said: “I’m sure the coaches will have a discussion with the medical staff and let’s see what happens.

“But I’m ready to get going and if they ask if I am ready to play, my hand is going to be up.

“I just want to get back playing and I feel like a big kid at Christmas.

“Playing against West Brom would be nice, because I think probably there’s no pressure on the game, it’s one you can go and enjoy and if you can get something out of it then brilliant.

“If not, I’ll have got some minutes under my belt and we look to Saturday.”

Michael Appleton has high hopes Hoskins will add the touch of quality up front which has eluded the side so far this season.

But the U’s head coach is also aware after such a long time out of the game, the new signing needs to be used sparingly over the first few matches.

He said: “We just have to make sure we look after him properly in terms of not rushing him into 90 minutes immediately.

“I’m sure he’ll be desperate to play all the time and from the start, but that would be like committing suicide in a way.

“You end up playing and all of a sudden you might have him out of the team for a period of time.

“I want to give him a few minutes and build it up all the time.

“With a bit of luck he may be involved (tonight) at some point, building up to Saturday.”

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