MARK Jones believes the arrival of new faces can give Oxford City a spark when they host high-flying Woking tomorrow.

Two players have signed, and a third is set to follow, ahead of the Vanarama National League South fixture.

Hungerford centre-half Tarik Moore-Azille and MK Dons striker Brandon Thomas-Asante joined on loan until the end of the season earlier this week.

And a left back was training with the side last night with a view to signing.

City’s threadbare squad were 5-0 down by half-time in their 7-2 thrashing at leaders Torquay United six days ago.

Jones’ side failed to pick up a point in January and he felt the time was right to bring in reinforcements.

The City boss said: “We’ve been needing to get players in for three or four weeks, and it got to the point on Saturday where it was quite clear that we needed to do something.

“It was a game too far for our young players.

“With Udoka Godwin-Malife leaving (for Forest Green Rovers), that left an already thin back line even thinner, and then we lost Eddie Jones to a hand injury, so it was a really patched up defence.

“That’s an area you can’t afford too much disruption in, especially against the leaders.

“We obviously didn’t expect to let seven in, but it can happen, and the whole day just highlighted in a painful way that we needed to strengthen.”

“You’re simply not going to get away with it against sides like Torquay.”

Moore-Azille and Thomas-Asante go straight into the squad for the visit of Woking.

The side are also boosted by the return of Eddie Jones, who needed an operation.

City’s boss added: “We had a very disappointing January.

“I think the manager of the month award I got in December has been a bit of a curse. But we can now regroup, refocus and move on and take it a game at a time, starting tomorrow.”

Dielna has played for Blackpool and Solihull Moors, and Jones believes his experience will be a huge asset.

“He’s not been playing so much lately, but he’s fully fit and comes highly-recommended. He has bags of experience too.

“Tarik has joined us from Hungerford and is a lad with huge potential.

“He is a good size for a centre half and will certainly bolster the back line.”

Thomas-Asante will take some of the pressure off top-scorer Kabongo Tshimanga.

Jones said: “When we lost Sam Nombe, we haven’t really had anyone backing Kabby up.

“Brandon will give us a bit of aggression and power up front and will take some of the burden away from Kabby.

“I don’t think my young players have let me down, but we need to look after them and give them experience and exposure when we can.

“But all teams at this level need that bit of experience, and hopefully we can move on from this bad spell.”


Oxford City (v Woking, home): from King, Jones, Moore-Azille, Dielna, Oastler, Ashby, Fleet, McEachran, Wiltshire, Tshimanga, Thomas-Asante, Case, Self, Bawling, Fasanmade, Carter.