FOOTBALL: Whing's back in for United

Andy Whing is set to start for Oxford United against Accrington tomorrow after two substitute appearances so far this season

Andy Whing is set to start for Oxford United against Accrington tomorrow after two substitute appearances so far this season

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

Andy Whing will make his first start of the season tomorrow as Oxford United turn to their senior players for the visit of Accrington Stanley.

A groin injury has limited the 28-year-old to just two substitute appearances so far this season.

U’s boss Chris Wilder singled out Whing in the aftermath of Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Port Vale as a key player they have missed in a hugely disappointing start to the campaign.

Last season’s supporters’ player of the year will be thrown in tomorrow in a bid to add some steel to a side which has leaked goals in a run of seven defeats from their last nine games.

Whing is flattered by the praise, but insists the only way United can turn things round is by making a collective improvement.

He said: “I’m not going to shout and bawl at people, we’ve got to do it together. One player can’t do it on his own.

“It’s been a tough week mentally and physically, but we’re going to learn from our mistakes and I think all the lads will show a bit of character against Accrington.

“The only pressure I feel is what I put on myself. It’s nice for the gaffer to say that, but I think there’s a lot of characters – not just me.

“The younger players have had a bit of experience now and know what it’s like.

“In this division you’ve got to learn quickly from games like the other night.”

Whing made his return in the 4-2 win at Cheltenham Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this month.

He played the final half-hour, but it is unclear whether his physical condition has improved sufficiently to make it through 90 minutes.

Whing said: “There’s no point in me playing at 50 per cent, so I can get through 90 minutes.

“I just have to play as I normally do and if it only lasts 60 or 70 minutes then I’ll come off.

“I still think I’m a bit away (from full fitness).

“I was only pencilled in to be in the squad this week so I’m a fortnight ahead of schedule.

“We’ll see how it goes.”

The game comes at the end of a long week of soul searching for the U’s squad, as they attempt to correct the flaws exposed at Port Vale.

Whing said: “Behind closed doors we’ve had meeting after meeting and watched the video a couple of times.

“We’ve gone through what we need to do better, so we’re looking to implement what we’ve done this week in the game on Saturday.”

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