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Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
By: Richard Hubbert
TOWN are on their travels again this weekend, this time taking their first ever trip to Oxford's Kassam Stadium, which has been their home since 2001.
Oxford were among the pre-season favourites for promotion this year, after narrowly missing out on the play offs last season. However, things have not gone according to plan for the club.
GRAHAM RIX was appointed permanent manager in the summer after IAN ATKINS departed in controversial circumstance at the end of last season. Rix's reign was not a happy one, which prompted the arrival of Argentinian RAMON DIAZ is December.
Diaz is the manager but it is HORACIO RODRIGUEZ who has the main responsibility for the team, as head coach. A massive six man backroom team of coaches and interpreters joins him.
Immediately after their arrival, the U's were doing well and looking towards the play offs again until a recent run of three defeats in the last four have seen them sink to below Town, making the play offs a huge ask thi season.
Oxford have one of the biggest squads in the league - with plenty of experienced pros. Indeed, no less than 38 players have played for the club this season.
PAUL WANLESS knows all about this league with spells at Lincoln at Cambridge. LEO ROGET was signed in the summer to replace Andy Crosby who went to rivals Scunthorpe, but has struggled with form and injury this season.
Former Coventry man BARRY QUINN is a regular fixture in their midfield, whilst in attack they have the experienced STEVE BASHAM and LEE BRADBURY, who once cost Manchester City Â£3 million.
KEY PLAYER - TOMMY MOONEY
Not a real surprise. Always scores against Town and always a threat. Lots of experience in the football league, and a threat Town need to quash if they are to get anything from the game.
|L Rochdale 0-2||Â||L Cambridge 1-2|
|W Yeovil 2-1||Â||W Cheltenham 1-0|
|W Chester 1-0||Â||L Northampton 1-2|
|D Swansea 0-0||Â||L Lincoln 0-3|
|L Shrewsbury 0-1||Â||W Bristol R 3-2|
|Currently 15th in League Two||Â||Currently 16th in League Two|
Pinault 7 Parkinson 6
Town will definitely be without MICHAEL REDDY and JASON CROWE who were both injured in the week at Rochdale. Reddy has a groin injury whilst Crowe has an ankle problem, and both will be sidelined for at least three weeks.
RONNIE BULL should be back in the squad after pulling out at the last minute in the week, due to the birth of his second child. This could mean that he returns down the left flank.
In attack, Russell Slade must decide whether to stick ANDY PARKINSON or DAVID SOAMES in attack with MARTIN GRITTON. Parkinson has been performing well down on the wing recently, but "Digger" Soames has little match practice after 5 months on the sidelines and probably wouldn't last 90 minutes. This could mean a recall for GRAHAM HOCKLESS, as Parkinson moves into attack.
Top scorer TOMMY MOONEY is the only doubt for Oxford, but it is thought that he will be passed fit after coming off last weekend with a head injury. Mooney needed stitches for it and has been told to take it steady in training, but is will more than likely play.
Town: 1 Anthony Williams, 4 Simon Ramsden, 28 Terrell Forbes, 6 Justin Whittle, 16 Ronnie Bull, 17 Thomas Pinault, 15 Terry Fleming, 11 Stacy Coldicott, 12 Graham Hockless, 10 Andy Parkinson, 26 Martin Gritton
Subs: 2 John McDermott, 5 Tony Crane, 26 Glen Downey, 18 Rob Jones, 14 David Soames
Oxford: 1 Chris Tardiff, 2 David Mackay, 5 Jon Ashton, 4 Leo Roget, 6 David Woozley, 7 Chris Hackett, 10 Lee Bradbury, 17 Barry Quinn, 24 Juan Raponi, 8 Tommy Mooney, 9 Steve Basham
Subs: 30 Craig Davies, 12 Paul Wanless, 34 Emiliano Diaz, 33 Lucas Comminelli, 15 Mateo Corbo
Head To Head
Town don't have a happy record against Oxford, with the U's having the edge with 10 wins to our 8. The last few meetings have been low scoring affairs with 0-0 draws, 1-0 wins and 1-1 draws the norm.
P23 W8 D 5L 10 F 23 A 29
Former Town loanee Nigel Jemson had a successful 6 game spell with Town in 1993 when he scored 2 goals under Alan Buckley. He later went on to play for Oxford in 1996 where he had a two year stay, netting 33 goals for the team before a move to Bury and Ayr. He then returned to the U's in the 1999/2000 season where he made 14 appearances without scoring, before ending his career at Shrewsbury.
The two sides last met just before Christmas in a Friday night fixture at Blundell Park. The game ended a 1-1 draw in which Town took an early lead through a well struck goal from Colin Cramb. Cramb then went off injuredto be replaced by Darren Mansaram in attack, but from the second half on Town lost grip of the game with Tommy Mooney getting his customary goal against the Mariners.
Grimsby: Williams ,McDermott ,Whittle ,Forbes ,Bull (Sestanovich ,70 ) ,Crowe,Pinault ,Fleming ,Gordon ,Parkinson (Reddy ,88 ) ,Cramb (Mansaram ,36 )
Subs not used: Coldicott,Jones,
Oxford: Clarke ,Mackay ,Roget ,Woozley ,Robinson ,Hackett(Wanless ,70 ) ,Bradbury,Quinn ,Brooks (Morgan ,45 ) ,Davies ,Mooney (Wolleaston ,89 )
Subs not used Tardif,Molyneaux,
Bookings: Mansaram (Grimsby) Bradbury ,Quinn (Oxford)
PREDICTION - Town haven't drawn for a while, so I'll go for a boring 0-0 draw I think.
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