Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Win Over Bristol Rovers But no New Incomings

This weekly round-up of Oxford United is a quiet one, but the highlight for the U’s was winning in their League One encounter against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Quiet Week Before U’s Beat Bristol Rovers

Oxford Sink The Pirates With a Matty Taylor Brace

Oxford United have a dismal record against Bristol Rovers. The U’s had recorded just one win from their previous five meetings heading into the game at Grenoble Road, and just two coming from the last 13 encounters. In fact, the Gas had even won the last six meetings in Oxford.

Even though the U’s headed into the game having won five games in succession and Rovers had lost four games in all competitions, many Oxford fans would have feared the worst.

The two sides only met once last season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic curtailing the season early and, of course, Rovers won the home game. It was a first return to the Memorial Stadium for Matty Taylor, a former Rovers striker who left the club to join rivals Bristol City. Not only did the forward pick up an early injury, the defeat just compounded the misery on what was a disappointing afternoon for the U’s.

But fast forward to now and the U’s, and Taylor, got their revenge. Taylor scored twice, taking his goal tally to 11 for the season, extending Oxford’s winning run to six games for the first time since 1994.

Marcus McGuane Injury Sustained Against Bristol Rovers

During the Rovers win, Oxford were dealt an injury blow after just 15 minutes. Marcus McGuane, a midfielder on loan from Nottingham Forest, was stretchered off with a thigh injury.

Speaking after the game, U’s boss Karl Robinson said: “He’s walking now, so when he gets a scan we’ll know a little bit more.

“It’s his thigh, he felt it as he kicked the ball. It’s a big loss to us but the players dealt with that well.”

Transfer News

Again, it’s been a slow week in terms of transfers for Oxford. In fact, it’s almost been non-existent. Last week saw the departure of Sean Clare to Burton Albion on loan until the end of the season while this week, Malachi Napa returned to Woking on a one-month loan.

The winger turned out five times for the Cards during a previous loan spell, scoring once. He teams up with fellow U’s Slavi Spasov and Kyran Lofthouse.

In terms of incomings, Robinson revealed on Thursday that he is looking to sign a young central defender that he can loan back out. It may sound strange, but with Rob Atkinson and Elliott Moore forming a solid partnership, the U’s don’t need a ready-made centre back, despite the lack of depth in that position. Oxford did the same with Atkinson last season after signing the youngster from Eastleigh before loaning him back out to the Spitfires.

Contract Talks

The U’s have 16 players out of contract in the summer, including three on loan that will return to their parent clubs. Oxford have begun talks with key players Jack Stevens and Josh Ruffels, while Jordan Obita, Alex Rodriguez Gorrin, James Henry, John Mousinho and Nico Jones all have the option of an extra year. Mousinho aside, the club are likely to activate those clauses.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Robinson said: “We’ve already started these conversations with some players.

“Some of the players whose contracts are up we have options (to extend), so we’ll protect them from that point of view.”

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