It was a busy week for Oxford United, both on and off the field. Simon Eastwood penned a new three-year deal, Marcus McGuane has been linked with a return to the club and Jack Stevens has been linked with a move to Middlesbrough. On the pitch, Oxford beat Crewe Alexandra 6-0 on Saturday but suffered a disappointing loss against Accrington Stanley on Easter Monday.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Oxford Beat Crewe Alexandra But Suffer Loss Against Accrington Stanley
Oxford Beat Crewe With 6-0 Win at Gresty Road
Last season, Oxford United won 6-0 at Lincoln City to secure a club-record away win in the Football League. On Saturday, the U’s matched that result with a win at Crewe.
Unlike the victory at Sincil Bank, Saturday’s result was achieved with six different goalscorers. Josh Ruffels opened the scoring ten minutes before the before quickfire strikes from James Henry and Elliott Moore respectively.
After the restart, Brandon Barker added a sensational solo effort before Cameron Brannagan netted from the rebound after his penalty was saved. Sam Winnall added a sixth late on to complete the rout.
The result was the perfect response to a dreadful Easter weekend, which included two defeats. As a result, the U’s are now four points off the top six with six games remaining.
Defeat to Accrington
On Good Friday, Oxford lost at Sunderland in what was a controversial afternoon. The U’s needed to bounce back on Easter Monday against Accrington Stanley but failed to pick up any points.
Stanley had lost 7-0 to Peterborough United and drawn 0-0 with Burton before the meeting at Grenoble Road but were unfortunate not to score when the ball appeared to cross the line. However, it took just a matter of minutes to take a deserved lead.
Oxford did level through Elliot Lee but the U’s were outplayed by John Coleman’s side and the visitors added a second in the second half. The U’s were unable to find a way back into the game and began the week six points off the playoffs.
It has been a busy week for both of Oxford United’s goalkeepers. On Monday, Robinson confirmed that Jack Stevens had been targeted by Championship outfit Middlesbrough. The 23-year-old, who recently signed a contract extension, has been in sensational form since taking the number one spot from Simon Eastwood in November, so it comes as little surprise that he has piqued interest from a Championship club.
On the subject of Eastwood, the 31-year-old penned a new three-year deal this week. The goalkeeper was out of contract in the summer and many expected him to depart in the summer, but he has decided to remain with the U’s and battle with Stevens for the number one spot.
For Oxford, it leaves them in a strong position having two top-class League One goalkeepers. Both players could quite easily fit in at many other clubs in the division so for the U’s to tie them both down to long term deals is certainly beneficial.
McGuane on the Move?
Another piece of transfer news emerged this week after Robinson revealed the club are looking to bring Marcus McGuane back next season.
The 22-year-old, who joined the U’s on a season-long loan from Nottingham Forest in the summer, hasn’t played since January after picking up a thigh injury but has impressed during his loan spell.
The midfielder provided four assists from 15 League One outings and the U’s are looking to bring him back to the club on a permanent basis. He is yet to feature for Forest, having only joined in February 2020.