OXFORD United’s safety will not diminish their hunger to win and upset Blackburn Rovers’ party today, according to Cameron Brannagan.

A run of three wins from the previous four games means the U’s head to Ewood Park without needing a result to secure their Sky Bet League One status for next season.

The hosts are big favourites to win the game, a result which would net them the title if leaders Wigan Athletic lose at Doncaster Rovers.

But while United have no pressure on them, Brannagan rejected any suggestion the visitors would be on the beach already.

He said: “It’s a game of football and I’ll always want to win, no matter what it is.

“It could be a five-a-side game in the park, I still want to win.

“It’s a massive game for them because they can win the title, so they’re going to be on it but we’ll be ready.

“I’m sure the atmosphere will be great and I’m looking forward to it.”

United are taking well over 1,000 supporters to the game, where the attendance is expected to be in excess of 25,000.

Aside from cup matches, it is the largest gate at Ewood Park for six years, while the U’s have not played in front of such a large league crowd since a visit to Sunderland in 1998.

The visitors will not be travelling with any of the nine players who were told this week they were not in manager Karl Robinson’s plans next season.

In most jobs it is traumatic to lose a third of your colleagues overnight, but Brannagan said: “That is football, people do just come and go.

“I’ve got so many friends in the game it’s crazy because of people I’ve played with and have left for different clubs.

“That’s just the industry we’re in.

“The lads who have left are a top bunch, so I’ll still keep in touch. It’s a shame they’ve gone, but that’s football.”

Robinson has added two teenagers to the U’s squad.

Winger Albie Hopkins and striker Owen James will travel with the first-team players for the first time.

The hosts are without star attacker Bradley Dack (hamstring) and Craig Conway (broken metatarsal), while goalkeeper David Raya, Derrick Williams and Elliott Bennett could return after minor knocks.


Blackburn Rov: from Raya, Bennett, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Smallwood, Evans, Samuel, Payne, Armstrong, Graham, Nuttall, Antonsson, Tomlinson, Downing, Bell, Whittingham, Travis, Fisher.

Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Kane, Dickie, Mousinho, Ruffels, Brannagan, Mowatt, Rothwell, Henry, Obika, Napa, James, Hopkins, Hall, Long, Kelleher, Carroll, Ricardinho, Nelson, Shearer.