FOOTBALL: Merritt expecting more improvement from City

Oxford City’s Alejandro-Adrian Santiago serves a one-match ban and misses the match at Harrogate tomorrow

Oxford City’s Alejandro-Adrian Santiago serves a one-match ban and misses the match at Harrogate tomorrow

First published in Football The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425451

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt knows there is more to come from his side, despite their unbeaten start to the season.

City have won two and drawn three of their opening five matches and sit sixth in the Vanarama Conference North table table and travel to Harrogate Town tomorrow.

Merritt knows they can get even better, and believes a tough run of matches will test the capabilities of the squad.

“If anyone had said to me at the start of the season we would be unbeaten after five matches, of course I’d have taken it,” he said.

“The frustrating thing is that a couple of the drawn games could, and probably should, have been victories. We’d have been right up there then.

“It’s been a very encouraging start, but I have said to the players that I think we are only playing to about 70 per cent capacity at the moment.

“I really believe that we can get a lot better.”

Darren Mullings and Alejandro- Adrian Santiago miss the game through suspension – Mullings serving the last of a three-game ban and Santiago missing his one match.

Liam Malone (ankle) is a doubt.

Merritt revealed he is close to bringing in another two new faces, but is not sure whether they will be signed in time to feature tomorrow.

Harrogate are winless so far, but City are taking nothing for granted.

“I spoke to the North Ferriby manager this week and he said that Harrogate are a good side,” Merritt added.

“They have one of the biggest budgets in the league and although they haven’t won yet, are sure to be very tough opponents for us.

“We’ve got some really tough tests coming up, starting with Saturday.”

TOMORROW’S SQUAD

Oxford City (v Harrogate Tn, away): from Scott, Benjamin, Lapoujade, Malone, Pond, Brown, Rodriguez, Wilson, Del Alamo, Winters, Stonehouse, Green, Afolabi, Barcelos, Yussuf.

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