General Continued Progression and the squad.

Mellowyellow

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Having seen all bar one game this season, we really are possibly on the cusp of something special this season. As often happens with Oxford though, we are already getting to a situation where we are losing strong and influential first team players, this time at a moment when our momentum is growing.

With Forde, Hanson, Woodburn and Thorne already lost, is it important that KR brings in the free agent he seems to have his eye on, to maintain this momentum. If the board were ever going to go that extra mile to back him as they are so keen to tell us they do, then hopefully funds can be made available to allow a player to come in. Unlike last year when Maynard was missed out on, KR seemingly being told to carry on with what he had.

As the pre-season games showed the youth team and U23's aren't ready for the step up, apart from 1 or 2 possibly, so numbers will be short due to the length of some of these injuries.
 

Marked Ox

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Having seen all bar one game this season, we really are possibly on the cusp of something special this season. As often happens with Oxford though, we are already getting to a situation where we are losing strong and influential first team players, this time at a moment when our momentum is growing.

With Forde, Hanson, Woodburn and Thorne already lost, is it important that KR brings in the free agent he seems to have his eye on, to maintain this momentum. If the board were ever going to go that extra mile to back him as they are so keen to tell us they do, then hopefully funds can be made available to allow a player to come in. Unlike last year when Maynard was missed out on, KR seemingly being told to carry on with what he had.

As the pre-season games showed the youth team and U23's aren't ready for the step up, apart from 1 or 2 possibly, so numbers will be short due to the length of some of these injuries.
The youth/u23s might not be ready as a group but one making the step into the team/squad (maybe 2 if one on the bench) is perfectly feasible as they will be playing alongside experienced players. Lopes could make the step imo just as Shandon Baptiste did.
 

ljs

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Hanson, Thorne and Forde were really only being used as a subs, if that. Woodburn is the only regular starter to now be sidelined.
With Baptiste now being eased back into the squad, I'd be more than happy for Sykes to now actually join him to make up for the loss of Woodburn.

Not really any need yet for u23s to step up.
 

Sarge

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Hanson, Thorne and Forde were really only being used as a subs, if that. Woodburn is the only regular starter to now be sidelined.
With Baptiste now being eased back into the squad, I'd be more than happy for Sykes to now actually join him to make up for the loss of Woodburn.

Not really any need yet for u23s to step up.
Lets not forget that Napa had his shin fractured, a squad player, but nonetheless one that KR rated... ( injured V Peterboro in the league cup- it was another incident where no protection was given to an OUFC (flair player), this season) ... part way into his recovery now I'd hope
 

Marked Ox

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Hanson, Thorne and Forde were really only being used as a subs, if that. Woodburn is the only regular starter to now be sidelined.
With Baptiste now being eased back into the squad, I'd be more than happy for Sykes to now actually join him to make up for the loss of Woodburn.

Not really any need yet for u23s to step up.
It'll be interesting to see who he plays tomorrow.
 

Manorlounger

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Hanson, Thorne and Forde were really only being used as a subs, if that. Woodburn is the only regular starter to now be sidelined.
With Baptiste now being eased back into the squad, I'd be more than happy for Sykes to now actually join him to make up for the loss of Woodburn.

Not really any need yet for u23s to step up.
I would have to agree with @Mellowyellow as regards the squad. At least one in midfield is required to make up numbers. We are going to lose someone soon to a suspension for accumulated yellow cards and, without the depth in the squad, there will be a problem. Hanson, Thorne and Forde were a bit more than subs. Hanson had started a few times and Forde was showing some real talent. Thorne looked to be shaping up as a very good midfielder and will be missed. Woodburn's place will be a tough one to cover.
Yes, we have the U23's but they cannot be asked to step up to a starting role without a few risks, not least, that lack of first team experience required to cope with some oppositions.
Sykes has his moments but, is he sufficient cover?
 

Foley

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Dont forget Baptiste's Inernational call up (and Sykes could be called up as well)
 

AbbeyOx

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surely any free agents kicking around now are going to be either coming back from long term injuries or the leftovers who didn't get a club in Aug/sept and by the time they got up to full fitness our own players would be back.
I'd personally rather see any budget kept for strengthening in January
 
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AbbeyOx

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not seen/heard anything about Forde, is he out for a while as well?
 

yellowbow

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Just done a quick google on out of contract players to see if there are any clues regarding the midfielder Robinson is alluding to. Some interesting names came up: Darron Gibson, Joe Ledley, Chris McCann and Jordan Mutch could all possibly do a job on a short term deal. Depending on levels of fitness obviously..
 

HampshireYellow

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Hanson, Thorne and Forde were really only being used as a subs, if that. Woodburn is the only regular starter to now be sidelined.
With Baptiste now being eased back into the squad, I'd be more than happy for Sykes to now actually join him to make up for the loss of Woodburn.

Not really any need yet for u23s to step up.
The voice of reason.

it’s horrible seeing Napa, Hanson, Thorne, Woodburn and Thorne injured, but imagine how much worse it would be if that 5 were Dickie, Brannigan, Fosu, Taylor and Baptise.
 

Shosho

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Irrespective of the players place in the squad we have big matches coming up.

Whilst Hanson etc may not be starters they accumulate minutes and play in the leasing.com resting more regular starters.

With Woodburn/Hanson/Thorne/Baptiste all out where tomorrow we would have rotated, our only real options are Brannagan/Gorrin/Mousinho/Sykes/Henry(?).

A midfield that would have been rotated/rested now having to play back to back.

Add in the Forde injury, I would imagine another starter tomorrow and our only wide options are Fosu on the left...hall/Henry/Sykes on the right.

I haven’t seen the u23s/18s but maybe time for someone to step up.

Throw suspensions into the mix and KR will have juggling and rotation to manage...he will be earning his money over the next few weeks.
 

AbbeyOx

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shows what a farce the league trophy is - would be the ideal time to play more of our u23s (and give some of the first 11 a rest) but would get a fine if we did.
the invited prem teams get to play their youngsters to give them development time so we should as well
 

Mellowyellow

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Just done a quick google on out of contract players to see if there are any clues regarding the midfielder Robinson is alluding to. Some interesting names came up: Darron Gibson, Joe Ledley, Chris McCann and Jordan Mutch could all possibly do a job on a short term deal. Depending on levels of fitness obviously..
At Accrington, a couple people mentioned the name Joe Ledley as being talked of.
 

HampshireYellow

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Stevens
Long Moore Jones Berkoe
Hall Lopes Sykes
Lofthouse Mackie Agyei​

I’d say that’s pretty much our full reserve team at the moment.

We need a DCM and maybe a lacy wide man who can play either side, but overall it’s not too bad
 

MJB

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shows what a farce the league trophy is - would be the ideal time to play more of our u23s (and give some of the first 11 a rest) but would get a fine if we did.
the invited prem teams get to play their youngsters to give them development time so we should as well
We could always do it and pay the fine...
 

Scotchegg

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Do you think we could just sit on the ball for 90 mins, go for it in the penalty shoot out, shake hands and get back to the day job for both sides! As long as the ball remains in play there is nothing to say that either team needs to compete for it!
 

dickwalton1964

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Hanson, Thorne and Forde were really only being used as a subs, if that. Woodburn is the only regular starter to now be sidelined.
With Baptiste now being eased back into the squad, I'd be more than happy for Sykes to now actually join him to make up for the loss of Woodburn.

Not really any need yet for u23s to step up.

Hanson, Thorne and Forde may have only been bit part players but they’re easily good enough to exert serious pressure on those ahead of them. If Sykes is one to now come in, say for Woodburn, who have we got putting pressure on him to perform week in week out ?

These are major blows and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say these losses could derail us. I don’t think it’s a case of the U23’s needing to step up, they’re either good enough and ready or they’re not. A few first team injuries aren’t going to suddenly propel them from not ready to being ready.

Hopefully our current momentum can carry us forward for a few more weeks and then limp through Christmas before some serious investment in early January to galvanise the squad for the second half of the season. While, in the short term, an out of contract player or two will get the numbers up I’d be surprised if any will be good enough to push for a start. They’re out of contract for a reason.
 
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