OXFORD City boss Mark Jones paid tribute to Dave Pearce after the midfielder was released this week.

The manager said his decision to let Pearce go was one of the toughest of the season, but felt he could not guarantee the former Chesham player first team football.

“At our level, it’s not just a case of putting a team out on the field, but also one of balancing the books,” Jones said.

“I just felt I couldn’t see Dave playing as much as he would like to in the remainder of the season.

“I do like Dave a lot, he’s very professional with a first-class attitude and is a good player, but he wants to play, and I just couldn’t guarantee that.

“Dave was an integral part of our FA Cup run, and I want to go on record and thank him for all his efforts with the club.

“He will find football elsewhere, he’s a fine player and I wish him well.”

City are scheduled to travel to London to take on Wealdstone in Vanarama National League South tomorrow, and are continuing to prepare for the game despite it unlikely to go ahead.

On the back of three straight wins, Jones feels confidence in the camp is high.

He said: “I think no doubt our last three wins against play-off chasing teams has been a good achievement for us, but we are not naïve enough to say that we’ve cracked it.

“We can’t afford to drop our levels now, and we need to ensure we keep playing with the right intensity levels in every game.”

He added: “Until we are mathematically safe, we need to keep going, and even then, we want to push on and get as many points on the board as we can.”

Defender Connor Stevens is in line for a return from a foot injury, but Rob Sinclair is still doubtful after suffering a dead leg against Truro two weeks ago.

Oxford City (v Wealdstone, away): from King, Jones, Grant, Poku, Oastler, Musonda, Godwin-Malife, Fofana, McEachran, Fleet, Paterson, Nombe, Forde, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sinclair, Stevens.