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Club News

Oxford Utd warm-up

22 December 2012

Fleetwood Town reach the half-way stage of the npower League 2 season with a trip to the Kassam Stadium, home of Oxford United.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town reach the half-way stage of the npower League 2 season with a trip to the Kassam Stadium, home of Oxford United.

Town will travel in good heart following their 2-2 draw at leader's Gillingham last weekend.  They have lost just twice in eleven matches on the road, form which places them fifth in the league's away table. “We had hoped for more from Gillingham. We went for the three points but a point away at the league leaders is something to build on,” said Alexander. Defender Youl Mawene is back in light training after breaking a bone in his foot at Dagenham and Redbridge while midfielder  Anthony Barry continues to play a full part despite a specific return date not yet available. Barry Ferguson (groin) and Jon Parkin (hamstring) also remain sidelined. “We’ve been looking at basic principles of defence and attack and the lads are really taking it in.  We are all working really hard in training and, hopefully, we’ll see progression each week. The target is to be the team we all want to be,” added the Town boss. “Oxford have had a mixed start after starting really well.  They then had a sticky patch which dropped them down but they have a good unbeaten recorded with only two defeats in eleven games or so. This will be a really tough game and we can’t think anything else. We will be mistaken if we think it will be easier than Southend or Gillingham.  We do believe it’s a game we can win but we thought that last week and the week before.  Oxford are a dangerous opponent who are hard to beat.” Oxford defeated Accrington Stanley to reach the Third Round of the FA Cup on Tuesday, one of the talking points after the game being the state of the pitch which United share with rugby union side London Welsh.  They lost midfielder Adam Chapman to an injury directly attributed to the playing surface. United are also still in the Football League Trophy and face such a busy schedule that they recently took the decision to cancel their Christmas parties. Following three successive victories at the start of the season, form has fluctuated for a side dogged by injuries and the U's currently occupy 18th place in the division.  Seven away defeats have been bolstered by better home form with three defeats out of 11 games at the Kassam Stadium.  Chris Wilder's team are currently unbeaten in seven league and cup games, the most recent league match being a 1-1 draw at Morecambe last Saturday, courtesy of a late equaliser from Harry Worley: 'We should have won more of the games,' Wilder told the club's website,'we have dominated one or two games that we have ended up drawing but we have still put together a decent little run and given ourselves something to build from.' Former Luton Town striker, Tom Craddock, is top scorer with ten goals.  His fellow striker, Jon-Paul Pittman, has been less fortunate with surgery on his shoulder expected to rule him out for at least three months.  Michael Duberry returned towards the end of Tuesday's game after six months out of the game following neck surgery.  Wilder believes that the veteran defender can push the established pairing of Michael Raynes and Jake Wright. Oxford were members of the Football League from 1962 until 2006.  They returned in 2010 via the Conference play-offs and finished ninth last season.

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