Karl Robinson’s promotion chasers face midtable Burton Albion tonight, hoping to strengthen their grip on a play-off place.
With Coventry and Portsmouth playing each other, there’s a great chance for the Us to pull away from one, if not both, of their top-six rivals.
They face the Brewers without influential loanee Marcus Browne, who went off with an injury against Peterborough. The former West Ham man, on loan from Middlesbrough, has bagged three goals in five League One games and is the creative outlet for Robinson’s side in the absence of Fosu and Baptiste.
However, after some tough tackles in their clash with Posh, Browne is now out of tonight’s game.
“Marcus Browne is out. What do you expect with the treatment he gets?” asked Robinson in the Witney Gazette.
“It’s not good. We’ll see how it settles down but his ankle is in a terrible state.”
The 22-year-old is currently in his second loan spell with the club, having scored nine in 44 matches during a loan spell last season. Instead of a Kassam return in the summer, he opted to move to Championship strugglers Middlesbrough, but failed to impress and is now back to help Oxford’s promotion push.
It is a tough life for flair players, they’re often targeted with tough challenges to stop their creative influence.
This comes at a bad time for Oxford though. His brace against Blackpool helped to mask the loss of Fosu and Baptiste but the 4-0 hammering against Peterborough was a sobering reminder of Oxford’s current situation.
You wonder if perhaps Robinson’ side are looking to another season in League One, boosted with an impressive transfer kitty, and perhaps Marcus Browne signed permanently in the summer?
That won’t help fans now, but being ready for promotion is a big ask and with two key players leaving, are Oxford ready?