OXFORD BOSS ON TRAIL OF AN EXTRA STRIKER
STRIKERS are often near the top of a manager’s shopping list – and Oxford boss Michael Appleton admits he’s no different, despite having two of the League’s most prolific players.
Midfielder Liam Sercombe, 25, and versatile 23-year-old forward Kemar Roofe have plundered 31 goals between them this term, but the U’s are now suffering something of a striker shortage.
Ryan Taylor was ruled out for at least six weeks with a groin injury he picked up against Bristol Rovers last weekend, while Chris Maguire has returned to Rotherham following his sixweek loan spell.
Appleton is still hopeful of bringing Maguire back to the club or finding another striker, if that fails.
“I think he’s quite keen to return, but the ball is obviously in Rotherham’s court,” said Appleton.
“As long as discussions between him and Rotherham go well, then hopefully we’ll benefit from that.
“Unfortunately, Ryan [Taylor] is struggling, though. He’s seen a specialist and it could keep him sidelined anywhere above six weeks.
“Whether it’s eight or ten, who knows? The reality is we will be without him for a longer period and the thinking is that now is the time to maybe freshen things up.”
With Oxford right in the promotion hunt in League Two, they have found a settled starting line-up, leaving many of their fringe players desperate for game time.
Appleton believes there will still be comings and goings before the January transfer window shuts.
“There’s still a good week or so to try to get in reinforcements,” he added.
“I think the players to affect the XI might need to be fresh players.
“There are also certain players in our squad who deserve an opportunity to try to go and play football elsewhere.”
GAME OVER: Birmingham City midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld celebrates his goal
ON LOOK-OUT: Appleton