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Wanderers duo on the mend for Oxford United game

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Wanderers have been handed a timely fitness boost ahead of this weekend’s home clash with Oxford United.

Mark Beevers and Gary Madine are now back in training, raising the hope that Phil Parkinson will be able to bolster his side on Saturday at the Macron.

Beevers had been out of action for the last few days with a virus, missing the 1-0 defeat at Rochdale, while Madine has not featured since tearing a groin muscle against Southend United nearly four weeks ago.

The Whites need a pick-me-up after a six-game slump in the league, which has seen them drop outside the play-off places for the first time this season.

But it appears Lewis Buxton, who also pulled out of the squad at Rochdale with a knee injury, will not recover in time to face Oxford and could face a scan to determine the full extent of the problem.

The experienced full-back had been ever-present in the league for Wanderers this season but picked up the knock in last weekend’s goalless draw with Bradford City.

The Whites have scored just 10 times in their opening 10 games and Parkinson admits the lack of cutting edge has become a problem for his team in recent weeks.

“Since the Southend game we’ve had a problem getting the ball in the back of the net and you are not going to win games of football that way,” he said. “There hasn’t been a lack of effort, and we are creating opportunities, but when you are not putting them away it isn’t going to happen for you.

“The self belief has dropped out of the players a little bit and it’s up to them now to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and make sure on Saturday that they make it count.”

Parkinson has reiterated his call for his side to “stick together” to get over the run of poor form.

“You have to stay strong,” he said. “Mentally it’s a challenge for the players but they have got to be ready to go again and prove themselves. We got all the praise at the start of the season with four wins, now we have to deal with the criticism.”


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