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Constable vows to fight for Oxford United starting role
JAMES Constable says being left out of Oxford United’s starting line-up has only increased his commitment to winning a place back.
The striker has been used as a substitute in the opening three games of the Sky Bet League Two season.
His only start came in the Capital One Cup defeat at Charlton Athletic, when the attacking unit were rotated.
Constable came off the bench to stunning effect on Saturday, scoring a volley in the 3-1 win at Torquay United, which kept the U’s top of the table.
The 28-year-old appreciates the situation, as Deane Smalley has continued his good pre-season form with three goals from three starts and summer signing Dave Kitson also impressing in the side’s superb start.
Constable said: “Deano has been tremendous and has scored in nearly every game.
“Kits’s experience and height gives you something different. “Alfie (Potter) can sit in behind and run at defences, so it’s going to be difficult for me to play as many games as I would like.”
He added: “It is difficult, I’ll be 29 in a few weeks, but there have been a lot of players since I have been here that have come in to play and not got a game.
“I can understand what it was like now because I’m on that side of it where I’m trying to fight for that position.
“But it’s only good for the team if you have quality strikers scoring goals like we are doing.”
It is a similar situation to last season, when Constable had to be patient for a run of starts.
He did not score until October, but went on to finish as United’s top scorer for the fifth successive season.
That experience means the No 9 knows patience is key.
“It will be no different this season, there will be ups and downs,” he said.
“It’s important you don’t lose your commitment to playing and, for me, if I’m not playing it just means I have to knuckle down to try and get a chance. “I’m not one of those people who will say ‘I’m not here to sit on the bench’.
“I have been here for five years, but it will never cross my mind to be anywhere diff- erent.”
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