Gary Waddock is confident Oxford United’s defensive resources will cope with the loss of Johnny Mullins for the rest of the season.

The centre back, pictured above, damaged his foot late on in the 3-0 defeat at Chesterfield earlier this month and scans have shown a suspected stress fracture to one of his metatarsals.

A second scan is needed to confirm the exact nature of the damage, but the 28-year-old is certain to be ruled out for the run-in and any subsequent play-off campaign.

It is undoubtedly a blow for the U’s, with Mullins one of their most consistent performers this season.

Waddock, the club’s new head coach, said: “It’s obviously frustrating for him and disappointing for me, because he’s a good player.

“We’ve missed him and we will miss him for the remainder.”

But the new United boss, who will be without suspended left back Tom Newey for tomorrow’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge, saw no reason to look for a new face before the loan window closed yesterday afternoon.

Waddock has faith with the defenders already at the club.

He said: “We’ve got a suspension in there and now a player missing, so we’ll have to juggle the pack, but the players are good enough.”