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FOOTBALL: City in McNish swoop
Oxford City boss Mike Ford says former Southampton midfielder Callum McNish has the chance to resurrect his career after joining from Basingstoke Town.
McNish, 20, who lives in Kidlington, is included in City’s squad for their Blue Square Bet North trip to second-place Guiseley tomorrow, where he could make his debut.
He started his professional career at the Saints, whom he joined as a scholar, making his debut against Carlisle as a 17-year-old.
After being released in 2011 he spent a season at Exeter City, before signing for Braintree Town.
He joined Basingstoke last September.
“He’s 6ft 1ins and is technically very good,” said Ford.
“Callum’s been training with us a couple of times and he looks after the ball really well.
“When I sign players I get asked ‘are they good enough’ and I can give my opinion on them.
“But the only way you can tell is if you play them, so I may well pitch him in on Saturday.
“It’s the last chance saloon for him.”
McNish is added to a squad missing Steve Basham, Jamie Cook, Liam Malone (all injured) and Paul Stonehouse (banned).
Ford is hoping striker Ashan Holgate can play despite suffering a severely cut ear early in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at runaway leaders Chester on Wednesday.
It happened when he was accidentally caught by a boot in a challenge. He was taken to hospital where he had stitches.
“They are a good side, but it doesn’t help when you lose your striker after 20 minutes,” Ford said.
“Full credit to the players – they just got on with it – they never stopped.
“I thought for 40 of the 90 minutes we were on top.
“We have to go to Guiseley believing that we can compete with all the top teams.”
Oxford City: from Ingram, Gunn, Ballard, Learoyd, Willmott, Bell, Pond, Holgate, Benjamin , Barcelos, Stanley, McEachran, McNish, M Janes.