First game of the season, first point of the season, and big Joey Ironside’s first goal of the season. And all in front of a packed Abbey for the first time in over 18 months. It all made for a very positive opening day for the U’s, and Jack Swindlehurst, Jordan Worland and Tom Walker got together to discuss it all.
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Agreed, interesting selection issues. Presumably, Mark will make changes on Tuesday and give game time to some other squad members, but equally he’ll want a result in the cup for the chance of a big payday in a later round, against a Swindon side who can’t be taken lightly.
Sure Okedina will get a start, but which centre half from Saturday will he leave out? I’d like to see Okedina and Jones as a combo. You would think Taylor would be the one most under threat for his place, but Mark seems to see it as Taylor plus one in terms of centre halves. Also wonder if Will Mannion gets the nod as ‘cup keeper’ this season?
Will he go one-up top against a league two side, albeit one we swapped divisions with, so like Northampton, are probably quite a close match now they seem to be getting their squad sorted out. I’d like to see Ironside and Smith as a two from the start, the could work very well. Was pleased to see he brought on a second striker when chasing a goal on Saturday, and it certainly seemed to put Oxford under pressure and catch them out. He’ll be tempted to give Knibbs a start, I guess, but will that be in a front two or will it be wide on the right? Will Dallas get into the squad to try to prove his worth after signing a new contract. Also Worman, a regular on the bench, but very little game time. Might as well loan him out if he’s not going to play.
Equally, May could well get a start, in place of either Digby or O’Neil – unlucky not to start Saturday, IMO, after looking much improved against QPR. Hope Weir is fit, as I’d like to see what he can do. Think he showed at Cardiff that he can be an attacking threat, as well as perhaps as defensive option. I think if he gets his chance, he could be difficult to leave out. We are fairly well stocked in midfield.
As for Accrington, no doubt it will be back to a similar line up and formation as Oxford. How will a lone striker do against three centre halves is the big question. Ironside (or Smith) will need the midfield running on in support of him and maybe he can create space for others to run into by occupying a couple of defenders. Accrington will see it as a good opportunity for a first league win, but so should United. Might be a tight, defensive scrap and our defence isn’t water-tight, despite effectively having a back six so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
Good resilience to come back for a point against a decent Oxford side and Accrington will be a test of resilience once again.