Cup heroes say they’ll still have the buzz
OXFORD United return to the grind of league action after two cup scalps, but forward Alex MacDonald says the prospect of doing the double over Bristol Rovers is motivation enough.
The promotion contenders, both in the hunt for the top three, clash at the Kassam Stadium, with the U’s now considered giant-killers.
Last Sunday they beat Premier League Swansea City 3-2 in the FA Cup, before triumphing 2-0 at League One Millwall in the first leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern area final on Thursday.
Earlier this season Kemar Roofe curled home a stunner as Oxford beat the Pirates 1-0 and, despite their hectic schedule, MacDonald insists his troops are still full of energy.
“It’s an old cliché, but when you’re winning games and they’re coming round fast, your legs don’t feel it as much,” he said.“It’s been a tough couple of days, with the Swansea and Millwall games, but there’s another important one coming up.
“We didn’t play particularly well against them last time and we asked Roofey to score us a wonder goal – which he did – to win the game. But we want to do the double.”
In Roofe, Oxford have arguably the League’s most in-form man.The 23-year-old has five goals in his last three games and 17 for the season.
Meanwhile, Rovers signed former loanee Rory Gaffney from Cambridge on Thursday and the striker is expected to go straight into the starting line-up.
Midfielder Liam Lawrence – also a new arrival, from League One Shrewsbury – believes the Oxford clash will be a litmus test as his side seek back-to-back promotions.
“We are in a good position and we have a run of games coming up against teams who are around us in the league," said Lawrence.
“The next couple of weeks with the big games we have will be a good indicator as to where we can get to.”
KEY MAN KEMAR ROOFE Oxford