Chris Wilder knows that one lower-league club will get a plum draw in tomorrow’s FA Cup third round draw – and sees no reason why it can’t be Oxford United.
The U’s travel to Accrington Stanley today with their manager stressing the importance of making sure their name is in the hat.
Not only does Wilder want United to build on last week’s win over Northampton, but also knows how critical from a financial point of view a cup run could be.
The U’s picked up £18,000 for seeing off Barnet in the first round, and can add an additional £27,000 if they get past Accrington today.
Wilder would like to be active in the January transfer window, but appreciates that it might need cup success to allow him to do just that.
“You want to be sat there on Sunday afternoon with your name in the hat, wondering who you’ll get,” he said.
“There will be somebody in this league who will get a golden draw against a top-five team in the Premier League. Why not us?
“But financially it’s very important to teams at our level.
“I’d like to do a bit of work in January and it might come down to the fact that we have to do well in the cup competitions if I’m to do that.”
United’s boss welcomes back Damian Batt to the squad, but Jake Forster-Caskey is unavailable as part of his loan agreement.
Tom Craddock, Michael Duberry and Deane Smalley are all out.
Forster-Caskey’s absence means Sean Rigg is likely to revert to the left side of midfield, with Jon-Paul Pittman given a starting role after coming off the bench to net the winner against Northampton.
Accrington have been forced to shuffle their pack with on-loan Rob Atkinson back at Fleetwood.
Ex-England striker James Beattie, rested for the midweek defeat against Rotherham, will come back into the side, along with left winger Lee Molyneaux.
Accrington Stanley: from Dunbavin, Liddle, Nsiala, Winnard, Atkinson, Joyce, Barnett, Chippendale, Miller, Murphy, Lindfield, Amond, Gray, Beattie, Molyneaux, Boco, Dawber, Hatfield, Clark, Dixon.
Oxford Utd: probable Clarke, Whing, Raynes, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Cox, Leven, Rigg, Constable, Pittman. Subs from: Batt, Worley, Davis, Chapman, Heslop, Brown, Marsh, O’Brien.
The winner of the Accrington v Oxford match will be ball No 58 when the draw for the third round is made on ITV at 2.40pm tomorrow by Ledley King and Fabrice Muamba.