9:30am Saturday 18th February 2012
By Mark Edwards
Chris Wilder says the pressure is on his strikers to score the goals that will keep them in Oxford United’s team.
James Constable and Oli Johnson found the net against Dagenham on Tuesday, but with five attacking players now at his disposal, the U’s boss says that players must deliver.
United travel to Bristol Rovers today looking to make safe seventh place in the npower League Two table, and close the leeway on the leading teams, who have opened up a bit of a gap.
“Players will naturally now know that they have to score goals to stay in the team," Wilder (above) said.
“We have made that clear with the players we have brought in.
“Possibly Lee Holmes and Oli Johnson are more providers.
“ But they have to chip in and Scott (Rendell), Mehdi (Kerrouche) and Beano (Constabel) all have firepower.
“Creating chances has never been in doubt, but hopefully with Beano getting one and Oli getting one we can push on.
“I believe that we can score goals with the players we have.”
Wilder, for the first time in a while, has a selection dilemma.
The U’s boss must decide whether to keep to the tried and trusted 4-3-3 system, or start with the 4-4-2 formation that worked so well in the second half against Dagenham.
“That makes a nice change,” he laughed.
“I have got to pick the right side, right formation and tactics.
“We have played 4-3-3 and it has worked well for us, but if it isn’t working for whatever reason, I will change it, like we did at Burton and like we did on Tuesday.
“It’s nice now to have a strong bench with players who can come off it and change matches, like we saw on Tuesday with Holmesy and Mehdi coming on and doing their bit.”
Damian Batt (pictured left) returns from suspension, with Simon Heslop available again after a heel injury.
Bristol Rovers have ex-Oxford forward Chris Zebroski back after he served a two-match ban, and he may come straight in for Joe Anyinsah.
They suffered their first defeat under new manager Mark McGhee when losing 1-0 at Shrewsbury on Tuesday.
Bristol Rov: probable Poke; Woodards, Bolger, Parks, Paterson; Richard, Stanley, Gill, Brown; Zebroski, Harrold. Subs (from): Bevan, Smith, Lund, Dorman, McGleish, Anyinsah.
Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Batt, Duberry, Wright, Davis, Wilson, Whing, Leven, Johnson, Rendell, Constable, Kerrouche, Holmes, Hall, Heslop, McLaren, Worley, Tonkin, Brown.
SUPPORTERS are reminded that the game is all-ticket and no tickets are available on the day.
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