NIGEL Clough expects a backlash from Oxford after they conceded four at Peterborough on Saturday.
The Brewers face Karl Robinson’s side at the Pirelli Stadium tomorrow looking for three points after the 0-0 draw against Gillingham on Saturday.
Clough said: “We would love the three points tomorrow, but Oxford have had as good a run as anybody recently and came so close to knocking Newcastle out of the FA Cup. The reverse they had at Peterborough makes us fear a backlash as they are a good team. Sometimes you give your team one after exploits in the cup and extra time as it’s hard to raise it again so soon after but I’m sure they will be back on it against us.”
Clough will be without Oliver Sarkic, who will be suspended after being sent off on Saturday, while Stephen Quinn was substituted after picking up a groin strain and Jake Buxton missed out with a rib injury.
Scott Fraser has also been struggling first with illness and then with injury, but Clough says that Joe Powell is a natural replacement.
He said: “Scott has a calf problem, so Joe came in and I thought he did well. That’s just the sort of game that he’s not used to playing after coming from under 23 football. But he won his headers and got his foot in. We are very pleased on only his second start in League One with how he played.
“Joe is going to be with us next season, so the more minutes he gets the better we are going to be for it. Scott still has a part to play bit it was a big surprise that nobody put a firm offer on the table for him in January.
“We know he won’t be staying with us next season, so we have one eye on that as well in the last 15 games. He came down and wanted to sign nothing more than a two-year contract. We got him on a free transfer, and he will leave on a free transfer - we all know where we stand so there is no problem with that at all.
“Scott has been with us for 18 months and in his first few months I would say wasn’t sparkling. He has got better as his time has gone on here and he got used to English football and League One and it’s only in the last six months he has really hit the heights. Joe has had two starts and is already showing a lot of potential for us, so we are very pleased with him as a replacement going forward.”