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Richards set to miss Fleetwood clash
Oxford United are set to be without Justin Rich-ards as they attempt to halt a four-game winless run at home to Fleetwood Town tonight.
The striker was forced off with a knee injury following a clash in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers.
He had a scan yesterday, but even before the results were known, tonight’s npower League Two game is likely to come too soon.
It is a blow for the U’s, whose top scorer Tom Craddock is also still out with a groin injury.
Alfie Potter, who came on for Richards, is one option, while Josh Parker, who impressed as a substitute against Rovers, and Deane Smalley are also in contention.
A 3-0 defeat at Fleetwood last month ended United’s strong run and began their four-game streak without a win.
The display was out of character with their other recent performances and boss Chris Wilder is determined the Cod Army will see a different side in the return game.
“We made it far too easy for them and we were disappointed with our standards on the day,” he said.
“That was a one-off. We didn’t deserve anything at Fleetwood. It wasn’t good enough from the first minute to the 94th minute.
“I’m 100 per cent certain we should have taken more from the last three games, but you have to go and make it happen.”
United’s one big problem in their recent run has been converting their chances, with just one goal scored in six hours of football.
Wilder believes just one strike, however scrappy or fortuitous, could make all the difference.
He said: “You watch the goals on a Saturday night and some that go in are ridiculous.
“We might need a touch of that – where it flies in off somebody, something that gets us going.”
Fleetwood have injury concerns of their own, with striker Jon Parkin a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury after scoring in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Torquay.
Gareth Evans and Shaun Beeley could also miss out.
United are confident the game will go ahead, although the pitch will be heavy.
Oxford Utd: from McCormick, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Davis, Chapman, Montrose, Capaldi, Potter, Constable, Rigg, Smalley, Parker, Heslop, Whing, Worley, O’Brien, Crocombe.
Fleetwood Tn: from Davies, Howell, Atkinson, Goodall, Brown, McLaughlin, McGuire, McKenna, Crowther, Matt, Fontaine, Ball, Gyorio, Milligan, Barry, Charnock, Lucas, Pond.