BOSS RIGHT TO RO­TATE - DAN

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Sam El­liott

OX­FORD UNITED hit­man Danny Hyl­ton has told man­ager Michael Ap­ple­ton: carry on be­ing a tin­ker man.

The 27-year-old striker – hailed as “mag­nif­i­cent” by the boss last week­end – has been on and off the bench for weeks as Ap­ple­ton con­tin­ues to med­dle with his front­line and for­ma­tion with great suc­cess.

Fel­low for­ward Jor­dan Bow­ery was sur­pris­ingly ditched for the visit to AFC Wim­ble­don hav­ing scored twice five days ear­lier at Ex­eter City as the man­ager went with one up top.The 24-year-old came on to get the win­ner against the Dons, and started and scored in the 4-0 thrash­ing of York City on Tues­day night.

Hyl­ton did, too – and af­ter watch­ing on from the side­lines for parts of 2016 he says his lit­tle break has given him ex­tra legs when it mat­ters the most.

And that may just help as Ox­ford look to claw back Northamp­ton’s gi­ant lead at the top of League Two.

The for­mer Rother­ham striker said: “It is so im­por­tant to be well rested at this time of the sea­son. Some­times you see clubs play­ing with tired play­ers who have been play­ing twice a week most weeks for months but we have been in the for­tu­nate po­si­tion that the man­ager has been able to change things around. If you don’t, you can pick up in­juries.

“You need to play with en­ergy, and I think that’s a plus for us at the busi­ness end of the sea­son as we will be fresher. What it means as well is that no for­ward at Ox­ford can take their foot off the gas.

“You have to do ev­ery­thing right when you are given the chance. If you’re not on it, some­one is ready to come in – it’s that kind of com­pet­i­tive edge which has made us so suc­cess­ful.”

Threat

Ox­ford carry real goal threat – so much so that the U’s boast three play­ers, Hyl­ton with ten, Ke­mar Roofe with 12 and ten-goal mid­fielder Liam Ser­combe, all in dou­ble fig­ures al­ready.

Hyl­ton is there­fore happy for Ap­ple­ton, who watched his side leapfrog Ply­mouth into se­cond spot af­ter rip­ping apart the Min­ster­men, to chop and change.

“I ac­tu­ally think squad ro­ta­tion isn’t a bad thing,” he said. “You won’t hear ev­ery for­ward say that! Ev­ery­one wants to play but you have got to let your man­ager man­age games and man­age your sea­son.

“We have a strong squad and we’ve been play­ing well – we now just need to get over the line and fin­ish the job.”

On the ti­tle race, he adds: “If this good run we are on turns into a very good run then who’s to say where it could end up.”

PIC­TURE: Pro Sport

HIT­TING FORM: Ox­ford United’s Danny Hyl­ton gets a shot in against AFC Wim­ble­don last week­end

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