Up to the bottom

From the Rage Online newsdesk Thursday, March 11th, 2004  

United travel all the way oop north to play bottom of the table Carlisle on Saturday, probably wishing that they didn’t have to. Carlisle beat 4th placed Huddersfield 1-0 on Tuesday at Brunton Park, to leave them unbeaten in their last seven home games. Oxford, on the other hand, haven’t won in their last five away games, or even in any of their last five games home or away.

United will still most probably be without Steve Basham, leading to newspaper speculation that Ian Atkins is poised to bring back former loan striker Gavin Gordon to boost the attack. Not too sure where this leaves Lee Steele, Mark Rawle or the quickly recovering Andy Scott, but as was shown when he brought in the inadequate Richie Foran, Ian Atkins is more concerned with sticking to his game plan than appeasing his current squad players. Also still missing is Paul Wanless, which unfortunately means that James Hunt will continue to perform the Robert Quinn midfield role, although at least new loan signing Barry Quinn (no relation) is a positive addition to the roster. All things considered, we don’t expect to see any changes to Saturday’s starting line-up, provided Matt Robinson’s missus has dropped her sprog in time. If Robbo is ruled out, apart from losing United’s biggest threat, the most likely scenario is that Jon Ashton will return to the back three with Matt Bound going to left wingback (unless Scott is considered fit enough to start).

Carlisle are a totally different proposition to when United beat them 2-1 at the Kas, back in December. Paul Simpson brought in former Bury player-manager Andy Preece, who has revitalised the Cumbrians. They remain nine points from safety, and five below 91st placed Macclesfield, and with an appalling goal difference to boot. Given current form, and Oxford’s unerring ability to shoot themselves in the foot, Rage Online has to predict a 2-0 win to the home side, given that they beat Huddersfield who beat Oxford, who currently can’t beat an egg.

By the way, United’s reserves lost 3-0 yesterday.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2004 at 12:00 am and appears under 2004, News Items, OldNews. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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