Ahead of our trip to Oxford, our opponents have a depleted squad, having been hit by injuries and suspensions, which can only work to our advantage. However, Storm Dennis may also have a bearing, with heavy rain and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour forecast in Oxfordshire this weekend!
In other news, Phil Parkinson is doing everything he can to keep Jon McLaughlin at Sunderland. The Scot is one of many players whose contract is up in the summer “Jon is someone we would like to keep,” said the manager. “The chairman and Richard Hill (head of football operations) will be working on that. He is performing well, but he has to keep his standards high, and when the chairman is ready, he will deal with that situation. Jon’s recent record puts him up there as one of the best in this division. He is calm, and has a lot of experience. At Bradford, he played in a lot of big promotion games. He played in big cup games too, and always handled the pressure well. He had genuine competition because Lee Burge is a good keeper - he will consider himself unlucky not to have stayed in for longer. Jon was a very good keeper last year, but he didn’t have a great start to the season and has had to go up a level in everything he does to get back in. At the moment, we are very pleased with his contribution.”
Elsewhere, Lynden Gooch’s wonder goal against MK Dons has been voted League One Goal of the Month for January. Gooch said: “It is an incredibly proud moment for me. It was a great goal and a big one for the team – it’s always nice to score a goal like that. but even better when it’s one that gets you three points. The goal only came about because I was trying to create something out of nothing, but fortunately it went in. Afterwards, it was just chaos with all the fans and the lads, but it was a great moment.”