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Wilder urges Oxford United to forget 4-0 home defeat
Oxford United’s players have been urged to bury the disappointment from their previous home game by producing a big perf-ormance against Barnet tonight.
The U’s crashed to a 4-0 defeat against Rotherham United a week ago – their heaviest league reverse at home for 13 years.
Good results have been hard to come by at the Kassam Stadium, with United claiming just two wins from their last eight home league games.
Despite bouncing back with a 3-1 win at Torquay on Saturday, boss Chris Wilder believes the sour taste from the Millers defeat remains.
The U’s manager is calling for a strong display against Barnet to put the Rotherham result behind them once and for all.
He said: “Last Tuesday was a desperate and disappointing night for us all, so we have to make sure we banish it by being on the front foot.
“There’s not been a lot of margin for error for quite a lot of the season, but that’s certainly the case going into these last nine games.”
Wilder will have to make one enforced change to the starting line-up, as Tony Capaldi is ruled out with the back injury which forced him off early on at Plainmoor.
Scott Davies is likely to be switched from a wide role to fill the gap in central midfield, as he did impressively on Saturday, while Josh Parker could again be used on the right.
The only other decision is at left back, where Liam Davis could be preferred to Luke O’Brien after missing Saturday’s trip through illness.
The U’s faced Barnet twice at Underhill in November, winning 2-0 in the FA Cup first round and drawing 2-2 in the league.
Edgar Davids’s side are in a battle to avoid relegation, but they have lost just one of their last six games, beating Morecambe 4-1 on Satur-day.
Wilder said: “I speak to a lot of managers and on the whole, everybody has been impressed with how Barnet play.
“They will be buoyant because they will see other teams getting sucked in at the bottom and they look as if they’re heading upwards to preserve their Football League status.”
Barnet’s top scorer, Jake Hyde, could return to the squad, but experienced midfielder John Oster (hamstring) continues to be unavailable.
Oxford Utd: from McCormick, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Davis, Parker, Whing, Davies, Rigg, Potter, Constable, Smalley, Craddock, Heslop, O’Brien, Worley, Duberry, Crocombe.
Barnet: from Stack, Fuller, Johnson, Stephens, N’Gala, Gambin, Vilhete, Davids, Byrne, Jenkins, Lopez, Barnes, Brown, Kamdjo, Yiadom, Vose, Sykes, Hyde, N’Toko, Beattie, Nurse.
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