IN the space of four days, we saw what good January business can do to a team – but also how fragile it can be.

Marcus Browne reminded Oxford United fans of his quality with his third-minute strike at Portsmouth, only for a hamstring injury to force him off after the break.

Sam Baldock then starred again when Burton Albion came to the Kassam Stadium that weekend, although his two goals were overshadowed by a knee problem.

INJURY UPDATE: Sam Baldock out with 'significant' problem + round-up

Both players could have made a big impact in the run-in, and still might do, but they are likely to play a minimal role in the rest of the Sky Bet League One campaign.

This may be clutching at straws, but the fact that Karl Robinson was reluctant to say either are out for the season is a small consolation.

Even if they are back for the final fortnight - when United play two of the top three, Rotherham United and MK Dons - they could still make a big difference.

United have not had much luck with illnesses and injuries this season, although Robinson admitted it was a risk to start Browne against Pompey – so that one was self-inflicted to some extent.

I am confident a fit Baldock would have got close to ten goals before the end of the season and contributed to more with his excellent movement.

Browne is a longer-term signing, so any more magic moments would have been a bonus.

But it shows how luck plays a part in even the best signings, with each one just an injury away from having their impact slashed.