Oxford United head to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and three points for the U’s could see them mathematically safe from relegation. The Yellows have had a fantastic Easter Weekend picking up 4 points from a possible 6 and in the meantime increased their run to 3 unbeaten. Dispatching Wycombe in a 5 goal thriller was a prominent highlight of the season and the U’s are looking to finish the season strongly. Midfield regular Collins had to say:
“In the next five games we’d like to show the we have got a lot of positives going forward and this will be a side challenging at the top end next season, rather than the bottom end”
Collins also spoke of United’s ambitions in the coming seasons, and assured fans that Michael Appleton has Championship plans:
“There are not many clubs in League One and Two that have ambitions to make it into the Championship”
“This club has.”
“We’ve seen the plans, this club is going to go places and it’s important people put down a marker”
“I will have a little bet with anyone that in three years’ time this club will be knocking on the door of the Championship, if not in it.”
This is certainly a bold statement from the midfielder as the season has been littered with false-dawns and false-hope. There has been no evidence whatsoever that we have the capability to achieve this dream and U’s fans are very aware that this is not the first time that the we have had Championship ambitions either – most recently Ian Lenagan produced his five-year plan, only to jump ship and sell-up just 12 months later. So fellow yellows are not getting their hopes up just yet.
AFC Wimbledon are the hosts on Saturday and come into the game in uninspired form after drawing 2-2 against Northampton before falling victims to Dagenham and Redbridge in a 4-0 demise. Wimbledon however, have a number of ex Oxford players and U’s fans are more than familiar with the habit of old faces coming back to haunt them:
Danny Bulman – The veteran midfielder was a fan favourite when at the Kassam and racked up over 50 appearances for United during his spell. Renowned for his tenacity and ruggedness the midfielder can be a handful and will be one to watch out for.
Sean Rigg – The winger has pace to burn and is a very effective player when on his game. Though inconsistent at times, Rigg has scored 7 goals in all competitions this season and accumulated almost 40 appearances in the meantime.
Alfie Potter – Out of favour under Appleton, Potter moved to Wimbledon in the January window after serving a creditable 5 years with United. Remembered particularly for THAT goal at Wembley and performances against Portsmouth and Northampton more recently, which helped cement his name in Oxford United history. Superb player on his game so all Oxford fans will be wishing he has one of his ‘off-days’ on Saturday.