It’s been another busy week for Oxford United. There is injury news, an update on the backroom staff and a round-up of the results over the last seven days.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Injury News, League Draw and FA Cup Win
Injury Blow for the U’s
Oxford will be without defender Greg Leigh for “a couple of weeks” after the left-back picked up an injury during international duty.
The Jamaican sustained a calf injury in the Reggae Boyz’ CONCACAF playoff win over Canada to qualify for the Copa America.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Buckingham said: “Greg picked up a calf injury on international duty, in the 89th minute of the last game that he played.
“He’ll be out for at least a couple of weeks, so he’ll be a loss to us. We’ve got players who can come in and fill in that space.
“Sam’s (Long) maybe two or three weeks away, but we’ve got players that’ll have to step in and perform to make sure we continue doing what we want.
“If everything goes well, the plan will be to have Marcus (Browne) back involved, as long as he trains and comes through okay this week, for the FA Cup game at the weekend.
“When you’ve got the likes of Kyle (Edwards) and Marcus coming back into what is already a very strong front line, it does pose some very good problems for us, but it’s problems we’re going to need as we move into Tuesday-Saturday for the next five weeks.”
Buckingham on Backroom Staff
After Liam Manning departed to join Bristol City, assistant head coach Chris Hogg was one of two backroom members of staff to follow.
It leaves new head coach Des Buckingham short in the coaching department, but it’s something the club are looking to address.
He said: “When you come in, you have to assess and see what’s here. We have two members of staff that left, that aren’t there.
“We’re speaking and going through a process to try and look at not just the people, but the skillset they will bring, to add to the quality we have here.
“We’re working through that at the minute, and we’re hopeful maybe in the next week or so, we’ll be able to have someone in those spaces.”
Asked about having an assistant head coach, Buckingham added: “It hasn’t been me for the majority of the roles that I’ve gone into.
“Shorty’s (Craig Short) done a wonderful job, not just since Liam left, but in the time he has been here.
“He’s been wonderful to work with and he will continue in the role he plays as long as I’m here.
“It’s not about replacing staff, it’s about adding people, and you have to recognise the skillset that’s here, but also the skillset we need as we move forward.”
Battle Against Bolton Ends Level
Des Buckingham’s first home game ended all square against league leaders, Bolton.
The two sides played out a goalless draw at Grenoble Road with the U’s putting a stop to the visitor’s eight-game winning run.
However, Oxford have failed to score in both games under their new head coach.
Oxford boosted their defensive options ahead of the transfer window with the arrival of free agent, Joe Bennett.
The 33-year-old left-back, who departed Wigan in the summer, will provide cover for Greg Leigh following his injury.
Having turned out for several EFL clubs, the defender has penned a short term deal with the U’s.
Win in the FA Cup
Oxford progressed to the third round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Grimsby.
Marcus McGuane netted just his second-ever goal in the first half before Billy Bodin doubled the hosts’ lead in the second half.
The win, which was a first since Des Buckingham took charge, was deserved in difficult conditions at Grenoble Road.
The U’s will travel to Championship outfit Coventry in the third round.