Oxford United ‘struggling’ ahead of League One clash with Blackpool

Blackpool have Oxford United next and their opponents' preparations aren't going well.

 (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images) (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Blackpool's opponents Oxford United have had their preparations for their clash at the Kassam Stadium hampered after a bout of sickness within the camp.

The identity of who is unavailable has yet to be revealed, however it could mean that manager Liam Manning is forced into naming a different side from the one he had intended to.

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The international break is usually a time of players using it as a period of recovery from any knocks they've suffered from past games, however some issues have arisen for the opposition which Neil Critchley's side may look to exploit.

“Unfortunately we’ve picked up a couple of knocks this week and there’s a bit of sickness which is going around," said Manning to the Witney Gazette.

“We’ve got a few who are struggling for the weekend, so we’ll have to assess and hopefully we can get people in the best shape possible.”

Oxford are one of the early pace setters in the division, and are currently second as they trail league leaders Pompey by a point with a game in hand. The hosts have won their last four league matches, and have lost just one of their six home league matches this season, winning the rest.

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Despite the niggling injuries and sickness within the camp, there is some good news however for Saturday's opponents with Marcus Browne making strides in his recovery. He is still not fit enough to face the Tangerines since suffering a hamstring injury at the end of August, but is making positive strides towards a return to action.

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The former Middlesbrough and West Ham winger was an important figure to them in their last campaign, and got four goals and four assists across 34 league matches. He's a long-serving player, and has made 108 appearances to date for the club.

“It’s not easy to miss such a period of time, but in terms of his character, and how he’s stepped up and got his head down and worked, he’s been outstanding,” added Manning to the Witney Gazette.

“He’s progressing well and long may it continue."