NATHAN Holland will not play a part in Oxford United’s push for promotion after it was confirmed his loan from West Ham United would not be extended.

The winger is still recovering from a torn hamstring he suffered in March.

While the 21-year-old may have been able to play a bit-part in the remaining games, all parties agreed the risks were too great.

U’s boss Karl Robinson said: “Could he have played? Maybe a few minutes here or there, but it would mean him coming back sooner rather than later so there was a possibility of a recurrence, which would have been a catastrophe.

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“From Oxford United’s standpoint we weren’t willing to take that risk and you can imagine West Ham certainly weren’t.”

The U’s have stressed it was not a financial decision, after promotion rivals Wycombe Wanderers opting not to extend Jason McCarthy’s loan this week because they could not afford it.

Holland had impressed in his first taste of regular senior football, scoring three times in 12 appearances, including a spectacular volley against Newcastle United in the FA Cup.

Banbury Cake:

  • Nathan Holland celebrates his stunning late equaliser against Newcastle United

United will be hoping the short-term sacrifice reaps benefits down the line, with Robinson already making enquiries about a second loan spell next season.

He said: “We don’t want anyone to think it’s about finances, we think from one thing we’ve done is built up an unbelievable relationship with some big Premier League clubs.

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“I think the fact we’re putting the boy before our own short-term gain shows you how we look after young people.

“We’ve spoken to them about him coming back on loan and there have been some positive signs from everybody.

“That doesn’t mean it’s going to be the case, but their statement to us this week said about how their players get treated here is to be applauded and that’s something we take with tremendous pride.

“Hopefully we’ll have that opportunity to see him wearing a yellow shirt again next season.”