OXFORD United manager Chris Wilder admits he faces a real dilemma on Saturday – whether to risk star striker James Constable.

Following Tuesday’s dismal defeat to Hayes & Yeading, Wilder knows his side must produce the goods at home to Kettering tomorrow.

Having Constable back would give everyone a massive lift, but United’s boss says he has to think of the future.

“I wouldn’t put the long-term health of James in jeopardy,” Wilder said.

“There’s a problem there (with his ankle), it’s a day-to-day thing.

“He’s done a little bit of work, then you step it up, then he knocks it back a stage and you’ve got to do that rehab with him.

“But he’ll come in and train and we’ll work with him today and see how he is. But fingers crossed, he will be available on Saturday.

“But I will not risk putting James out for the season and maybe longer just for the benefit of one game.”

Midfielder Adam Murray will need to wait longer, however.

“Adam’s not ready,” Wilder said. “He’s had one 60-minute game in ten days’ training and been out for six weeks.”

United may look to fix up another game or reserve team game next week to give the skipper another run-out before throwing him back into league action.

Wilder says he’s sure he will get the right reaction from his team.

“I’m expecting us to be positive because we have been after every defeat,” he said.

“We got beat against Luton Town in really surreal circumstances and came back by winning three on the bounce.”

Wilder added: “We’ve lost five games all season.

“Tuesday’s was a game that I didn’t expect to lose – a game the players can accept the responsibility for, because they didn’t compete, which is always the biggest part in any sport.

“In my time managing the football club, over 55-60 games, I believe we’re doing the right things.

“I’ve got great belief in myself and great belief in my coaching staff, because of the results we’ve achieved in that time.

“And most of all I’ve got belief in my players.

“We had a good chat on Tuesday. I thought it was really important we spent time with the players and put across to them what was expected because what was shown on Tuesday, from the first minute to the 94th minute, was not what we preach.”