DANNY Hylton cannot wait to get cracking in the biggest game of his career as Oxford United aim to reward a sold-out Kassam Stadium by grabbing their shot at automatic promotion today.

The final tickets in the home areas were snapped up ten days ago as supporters hope to see Michael Appleton’s men clinch the win they need against Wycombe Wanderers.

Three points will ensure the U’s will be playing in the third tier for the first time since 2001 when the new season starts in August.

Any other result will see them rely on rivals Accrington Stanley or Bristol Rovers slipping up to avoid dropping into the play-offs.

It has been a long, anxious week for everyone connected with the club, apart from the players and coaches, who have been in a relaxed mood.

Hylton has made almost 350 appearances as a professional, including the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley last month, but none match this afternoon for the prize on offer.

And far from feeling tense, the 27-year-old is impatient at the thought of playing in front of a sell-out.

He said: “The minute you get nervous or scared of the game that’s when it will get the better of you.

“We played at Wembley and there was a trophy on the line, but it wasn’t as big as this.

“For ten months this is what we set out to achieve.

“The fans really do make a difference and no doubt they will be singing their hearts out again.

“Hopefully we give them something massive to cheer about.”

Hylton has 14 goals for the season and admitted the thought of bagging No 15 to win the game for United had crossed his mind.

There could be more responsibility on the frontman’s shoulders if top-scorer Kemar Roofe’s ankle issue keeps him out of the starting line-up.

But while Hylton would love to see United’s star man given the all-clear, there is plenty of confidence in the rest of the attacking unit to deliver.

He said: “Roofey’s goals have been very important.

“If he’s fit and he plays then he’ll be a boost to the team, but we’ve done well without him.

“We don’t rely on any one player.”

Aside from Roofe, Appleton’s other big call centres around Joe Skarz.

He seized up in the 2-0 win at Carlisle United a week ago, but trained on Thursday and United will be desperate for the experienced left back to play.

Josh Ruffels will deputise in the back four if Skarz misses out, while Johnny Mullins could return to the squad after a twisted ankle.

Wycombe, who arrive with the intent of spoiling the party, are without Luke O’Nien, Sam Wood (both knee) and Matt Bloomfield (broken arm), while Joe Jacobson (ankle) is a doubt.


Oxford Utd: from Buchel, Kenny, Dunkley, Wright, Skarz, MacDonald, Sercombe, Lundstram, Maguire, Hylton, O’Dowda, Roofe, Bowery, Waring, Roberts, Ruffels, Mullins, Long, Slocombe.

Wycombe: from Siegrist, McCarthy, Pierre, Stewart, Jombati, Rowe, Bean, Harriman, Hayes, Thompson, Sellars, Ugwu, Liburd, Kretzschmar, Sellers, McGinn, Jacobson, Allsop.