MICHAEL Appleton believes selecting the correct Oxford United team for the next three games will be like solving a jigsaw puzzle.

The U's are in the middle of playing 13 games in 43 days, which continues at Charlton Athletic tonight.

They have another Sky Bet League One game at Chesterfield on Saturday, before the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final away to Luton Town on March 1.

Appleton has to juggle players' fatigue levels alongside the fact that several players are cup-tied in the Trophy.

He said: "We know we’ll have to be very clever with the way we use the players for the next two weeks especially. We have to get it right.

"We have a semi-final that only certain players can play in, so there’s a lot of thinking to be done.

"It’s like a big jigsaw at the minute and you have to put the right pieces in the right place.

"I think we’ve come up with something we hope will work.

"The games will show if we get it right or not."

Charlie Raglan is one of the players cup-tied for next week's game against the Hatters, but the centre back is on loan from Chesterfield, so is unable to play against his parent club this weekend.

The 23-year-old has not played for the first team since November, although he has featured in development games in a bid to stay match fit.

Appleton said: "It’s not an ideal situation, we’d like someone who has played a few more minutes than he has, but he is needed.

"We have to weigh it up because he’s not available for Saturday or next Wednesday."