A MEETING with Manchester City may be on the horizon, but anyone in the Oxford United dressing room showing signs of distraction will have to answer to Ricky Holmes.

Tuesday’s sold-out Carabao Cup tie offers glitz and glamour, but for the winger it pales in significance to the bread and butter of their Sky Bet League One clash with Walsall.

“This is miles more important,” Holmes said.

“If anyone has that (City) in their minds then they’re cheating themselves and their teammates.

“If I see it among any of the boys I will string them up in the dressing room, because that’s a disgrace.

“The league is our priority and we’re not sitting happily in the league.

“We’ll go into Saturday full-on about the three points.

“We won’t be thinking about Tuesday, but if we see it creeping in our senior pros or the staff won’t stand for it.

“Anyone who has that in the back of their mind shouldn’t play on Tuesday.”

Tomorrow’s game is between two teams whose starts to the season could hardly be more contrasting.

It may still be early days, but Walsall have a ten-point gap on their hosts, who are stuck on one league win this season.

Holmes knows the tally should have doubled last weekend – and he came closer than anyone to breaking the deadlock in the goalless draw at Wycombe Wanderers with a shot which was tipped on to the crossbar.

He said: “We should have put Wycombe to bed. You wouldn’t say there was a glaring miss, but we got into areas where we should have been more clinical.

“We went home kicking ourselves, but if you look at the performance at Wycombe I thought we were brilliant on the day.

“We carved them open and I’m sure we’ll look to do the same at the weekend.”

The point kept them in the bottom four and although the Sheffield United loanee sees no reason for concern, he reckons it was only their third strong display in eight league games.

“The only performances I think we’ve had this season were Sunderland (1-1), Wycombe and Burton (3-1 win).

“All were about working hard from the shape.

“We can’t go into a game not working hard and being individuals, because our talent just isn’t good enough at the minute.

“We need to know what gets us the results and work from that every single week.”

He added: “We’re second bottom, but if we get three points we’re mid-table.

“I don’t see any distress, it’s early days.

“I saw a Plymouth side last season who weren’t as good as us, I don’t think, were bottom in December and they nearly got into the play-offs.

“It’s a long season. All right we’ve got to start bucking our ideas up and we need points now, we understand that.

“But I don’t see it as any extra stress myself and I’ve been trying to get it round a few of the boys who haven’t been in this situation.

“The results will come if we perform.”