With one or two players struggling with slight injuries and illness Karl Robinson told iFollow that the plan was always to mix things up a little and Jamie Mackie, Elliott Moore, Sam Long, Rob Hall and Dan Agyei could all feature during the busiest period of the season- the U's also travel to Doncaster on New Year's Day.
Simon Eastwood, Anthony Forde, George Thorne, Ben Woodburn and Malachi Napa are still unavailable through injury but youngsters Fabio Lopes and Nico Jones are both in the travelling squad.
ArcherWe always struggle here. I say we go behind and have to fight for it. But we run out 2-1 winners. Fosu breaks the drought, and Henry off the bench.
Long Dickie Moore Ruffels
Baptiste Gorrin Brannagan
Agyei Mackie Fosu
Subs: Stevens Cadden Jones Mousinho Henry Hall Taylor
‘Never try wrestling with a pig. You get filthy and the pig enjoys it.’Absolutely disagree with the old fashioned notion that the best way to combat a physical team is to fight them. If that’s their strength you probably won’t be as good at it as them, so it’s a false economy to sink to their level as you lose your own skill set and walk straight into their yard - they’re used to scrapping and you aren’t so you’re immediately at a disadvantage. It makes no sense. You have to expose their weaknesses and try to exploit and counter them. The idea that the best way to beat somebody tougher than you is to have a fist fight and see who drops first is absurd. It’s another hangover from the days of putting skilful players on the wing instead of in the middle of the pitch, because that’s for hard men and not twirly wirly sissies. We went to Southend and battered them because we are better than them, and played our own game. We then went to MK and inexplicably tried to counter them and lost while turning in a dreadful performance. There’s no need to get caught up constantly trying to outsmart the opposition when it’s often no more complex than ‘our players are quite a lot better than yours’.
Play our own game and we win. Get bogged down in trying to scrap them and we stand far less of a chance. I fear that’s what we will do, but I hope that we keep the ball moving and do what we do on our way to a nice 2-0 victory.
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