OXFORD United look set to welcome several players back from injury ahead of what could be their heaviest month of the season.

The U’s have eight games in October, including their first derby with Swindon Town in more than three-and-a-half years.

It is a punishing schedule for a team that has had several players in the treatment room during the early weeks of the campaign, with some forced to feature in last Saturday’s 4-1 win at Accrington Stanley while under the weather.

But United were yesterday boosted by the return to training of Josh Ruffels, Alex Gorrin and Jamie Hanson.

Meanwhile, Sam Winnall is closing in on his first inclusion in the matchday squad since he joined the club, despite picking up an ankle knock in training last week.

A lack of left back cover could mean Ruffels is thrust into the mix against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday and Karl Robinson is relieved to have more bodies at his disposal.

The U’s head coach said: “We’ll have Jamie Hanson, Ruffs and possibly Sam.

“We’ll see how his ankle is, but if it’s not this week it will certainly be the week after.”

The return of Ruffels, Hanson and Gorrin coincides with the start of a tough month, which features a quartet of difficult away fixtures as well as the visit of Swindon on October 24.

Between Crewe and Gillingham, United host Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy next Tuesday.

They then face a trip to one of the pre-season promotion favourites Peterborough United on October 17, with a home match against MK Dons three days later.

The U’s round off the month at Charlton Athletic and Fleetwood Town.


  • Sat 10: Gillingham (a)
  • Sat 17: Peterborough United (a)
  • TUE 20: MK DONS (H)
  • Tue 27: Charlton Athletic (a)
  • Sat 31: Fleetwood Town (a)

*EFL Trophy