MARK Jones has called on Oxford City to give it their all and have no regrets ahead of arguably the biggest match in the club’s history at Notts County, writes KIEREN BUSHNELL.

Should City pull off what their manager has described as a “miracle” in the televised 12.30pm kick-off, they would be in the Emirates FA Cup third-round draw for the first time.

“We’ve tasted unbelievable success and now we want more of it,” Jones said.

“We don’t want to be going up to Notts County just to make up the numbers and have a lovely day.

“We want to represent ourselves, and Oxfordshire, properly and give a really good account of ourselves.

“To the players, it’s a massive opportunity to showcase themselves live on TV on the big stage.

“Many of them won’t have experienced anything like this before.

“We can go with hope that we can make the third round, but most importantly, it’s about the opportunity to give everything.

“That must be the message. We don’t want to leave anything out on the pitch.

“If we go out there and give 100 per cent, that’s the job done.”

The Vanarama National League South club were not given a prayer ahead of their first-round giant-killing at Colchester.

On a terrible run, many pundits were anticipating a cricket score.

But they ripped up the form book to record one of the round’s biggest shocks with a 1-0 win.

“No-one gave us a chance,” Jones said.

“I’m sure most involved with Notts County will think we are an easy passage for them to the third round.

“But we won’t make it easy for them. We obviously have every respect for them. We know what to expect.

“But they will probably also know what to expect from us.

“We aren’t so much a surprise package this time. I think anyone who plays us will take us very seriously.”

City’s captain and centre half Lee Henderson is facing a fitness battle ahead of the tie.

Henderson picked up a calf injury in the victory at Chelmsford, and has been struggling to shake it off.

Jones said: “We feel for Lee, he’s a good guy and will do anything for the cause.

“But we need to make sure he is right. We can’t go into a game like this carrying any injuries.”

Rob Sinclair has recovered from a similar injury, while midfielder Reece Fleet, who missed last week’s FA Trophy loss to Hereford, is back.

Jones made the decision to rest players on four bookings, so apart from Henderson he has no concerns.

And Jones just wants his team to play with freedom.

“We’ve far exceeded expectations,” he said.

“We can’t really think about the rewards that could lie ahead, but just focus solely on Notts County.

“On the day, it is 11 v 11, so why can’t there be another miracle result for us?”

County’s only injury doubts are over experienced former Premier League strikers Jon Stead (thigh) and Shola Ameobi (groin).


  • 2nd qual rd: Whitehawk 1, City 3 (McEachran 2, Fleet)
  • 3rd qual rd: City 4 (Oastler, Pearce, Forde, Sinclair), Leiston 2
  • 4th qual rd: City 1 (Paterson), Bognor Regis Tn 0
  • 1st round: Colchester Utd 0, City 1 (Paterson)