FOOTBALL: City boss Ford in Walcott challenge
Oxford City boss Mike Ford is looking for new striker Jacob Walcott to step up to the plate, starting with tomorrow’s visit of second-placed Guiseley in Blue Square Bet North.
Walcott, 20, a distant cousin of Arsenal’s Theo, signed from North Leigh earlier this week.
Although fourth-placed City have scored 17 goals in nine games, Ford feels his front players should be weighing in with a few more.
“Up top, we have scored enough goals as a team,” said Ford. “But the strikers need to score more. Steve Basham has got two, Felipe Barcelos has gone one and Nabill Sharif hasn't scored.
“So we need someone to put the ball in the net. While we’re keen to keep clean sheets, they have also got to score more goals.
“When I spoke to Jacob, I was very impressed with his attitude. He said to me ‘I will get you goals’.
“I have got a lot of faith in Jacob (to do that) and I am sure he can do well.
“I am giving him an opportunity to shine and he’s got to grab it.”
Meanwhile, Ford says last week’s shock 2-1 FA Cup exit at Yate Town could be a blessing in disguise.
He added: “Sometimes, when you are on the crest of a wave, you need something like this.
“But there’s no drama about it. We did not perform and I will forgive them, but they can’t let it happen again’.
“We have had a lot of success over the past few years, so you have to take these little knocks on the chin.
“You have to keep a level head – win, lose or draw. Coming back from Yate, we had the same demeanour as we had in the win at Harrogate.
“The players have been fantastic for the club and we have a really good group.
“We have had a good start, but have to keep our feet on the floor.”
Ford added: “We have had some tough fixtures already this season.
“We have played Chester, Halifax and Worcester who are all in the top six, and Guiseley will be as tough as any.
“We have surprised people and ourselves and we need to keep doing it.”
Defender Chris Willmott is back in the line-up after missing the Yate game because of suspension. Zach McEachran is added to the squad.
Oxford City: from Carter, Mills, Stonehouse, Malone, Willmott, Gunn, Learoyd, Cook, Pond, Basham, Sharif, Benjamin, Ballard, Barcelos, McEachran.