Confident Hoskins out to repay Oxford United's faith with goals

Will Hoskins heads back across goal for Danny Hylton to score just minutes after making his Oxford United debut at West Brom on Tuesday night       Picture: Damian Halliwell Order no: OX69443

Will Hoskins heads back across goal for Danny Hylton to score just minutes after making his Oxford United debut at West Brom on Tuesday night Picture: Damian Halliwell Order no: OX69443

First published in Sport Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

AFTER spending 18 months away from competitive football, Oxford United’s newest signing may be short on match fitness, but there is one commodity he does not lack – self-belief.

Will Hoskins took all of five minutes to make an impact in a yellow shirt, coming off the bench to set up Danny Hylton’s equaliser at West Brom on Tuesday night.

It was exactly the sort of sharpness up front the side have lacked in previous games this season.

Hoskins’s unveiling on Monday marked the culmination of several weeks spent searching for an experienced goalscorer.

Many will be hoping it will prove to be the missing piece of the jigsaw which will see United’s attractive approach finally yield better results.

It is a burden of expectation which would intimidate some, but not Hoskins.

“I don’t think I should be in the game if I couldn’t handle it,” he said.

“It’s what I thrive on and I think any player does on that pressure.

“I just need games now.”

The midweek cameo at the Hawthorns marked a big moment for the striker, who had not played competitively since rupturing cruciate knee ligaments in February 2013.

Despite returning to fitness at the end of last season, Brighton released him in May.

With a CV which includes prolific spells with Rotherham and Bristol Rovers, plus experience gained in the Premier League and Championship, there was plenty of interest.

A trial at Barnsley came and went without any firm offers and while other League One clubs were in the running, none were prepared to take a leap of faith like United.

Hoskins immediately felt a connection when meeting head coach Michael Appleton and chief executive Mark Ashton last Friday, to such a degree that the deal was completed just over 24 hours later.

He said: “I had a lot of interest from the league above, but I’ve obviously not played in a while.

“There are probably a lot of clubs at the end of the season that are going to be knocking their heads against a wall, that’s the confidence I have.

“I understand there comes a risk factor and these people here made me feel really welcome, they’ve put their faith in me, so it felt only right I put their faith in them.”

While Hoskins is clearly not light on confidence, the former England under 20 international believes the attacking unit will share the load.

He said: “It works both ways; if they start getting on the scoresheet and I don’t, it takes the pressure off me and if I get goals it takes the pressure off them.

“If we both do it then perfect, but I can’t see none of us doing it. It’s the way forward.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704.

Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

  • Latest United news:

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:40am Fri 29 Aug 14

Brenda Jackson says...

Probably be wise to have 'Bob' Hoskins on the bench, he's obviously very keen to get going- but after being out for so long that enthusiasm needs to be curbed a little or risk a disastrous further injury.
I'd guess he'll be given another 20/30 minutes depending how the game is going, and I wouldn't be surprised -Delighted, yes, If he was to come on and get the winner!!
Good Luck to him and the team, we'll be right behind you! COYY!
Probably be wise to have 'Bob' Hoskins on the bench, he's obviously very keen to get going- but after being out for so long that enthusiasm needs to be curbed a little or risk a disastrous further injury. I'd guess he'll be given another 20/30 minutes depending how the game is going, and I wouldn't be surprised -Delighted, yes, If he was to come on and get the winner!! Good Luck to him and the team, we'll be right behind you! COYY! Brenda Jackson
  • Score: 8

11:52am Fri 29 Aug 14

S Hillier says...

Let's play Hoskins and Hylton up front from the start, you never know, we might even go a goal up for a change.
Let's play Hoskins and Hylton up front from the start, you never know, we might even go a goal up for a change. S Hillier
  • Score: 8

1:40pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Truesupporter says...

I agree 2 up front please,
I agree 2 up front please, Truesupporter
  • Score: 7

2:49pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Oxokuba says...

I'm expecting it to all go right tomorrow and a 5-0 win followed by a 20 match unbeaten run in the league.
I'm expecting it to all go right tomorrow and a 5-0 win followed by a 20 match unbeaten run in the league. Oxokuba
  • Score: 9

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree