ADAM Chapman is hoping to get a chance to push his claims for a regular starting place as Oxford United visit Plymouth Argyle in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight (Tuesday, December 4, 7pm).
The midfielder has begun just one of the last five games, with Peter Leven and Lee Cox preferred as a combination.
But with U’s boss Chris Wilder consdering freshening up the team, Chapman is likely to be one of the players in contention for a start.
The 23-year-old has no complaints about the competition for places.
He said: “You can’t argue with the team at the minute because we’ve been on a decent run of form, so I’m fine with everything.
“Obviously I’d like a chance to show that at least I’m there ready and able if needed.
“It’s just a nice chance for everybody to see I’m not just sat back watching, I’m ready and waiting if needed.”
The competition has its critics, but according to Chapman the squad only sees positives from the trip.
He said: “People might say it’s a long way to go on a Tuesday night and it might get in the way, but I don’t think any of the boys are thinking like that.”
Andy Whing and Jon-Paul Pittman are both ruled out after being stretchered off in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Accrington Stanley.
There is a chance top scorer Tom Craddock could return, while Jake Forster-Caskey is available after being ineligible for the FA Cup tie.
United have enjoyed a good run already this season, beating Swindon Town 1-0 in the first round before winning 4-2 at Cheltenham to reach the area quarter-finals.
After such a promising start, U’s manager Chris Wilder is keen to push on to the latter stages.
He said: “We don’t want to waste the work and the energy we’ve put into two fantastic results.
“We recognise it’s four games away from Wembley, and if we do get through you get closer to that final appearance, which we’re all after.”
Plymouth head into the game in desperate form, losing seven and drawing one of their last eight outings.
They are without suspended skipper and ex-U’s defender Darren Purse, while left back Robbie Williams, who has scored in the last two meetings between the sides, is injured.
Oxford Utd: from Clarke, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Cox, Leven, Davis, Rigg, Constable, Brown, Forster-Caskey, Chapman, Marsh, O’Brien, Heslop Plymouth: from Gilmartin, Berry, Nelson, Blanchard, Bhasera, Cowan-Hall, Molesley, Hourihane, Gurrieri, MacDonald, Griffiths, Cole, Young, Chadwick, Feeney, Madjo