DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has warned his players that Oxford will be intent on exacting revenge when the two teams renew their FA Cup rivalry tomorrow.
United travel to the Kassam Stadium for an eagerly anticipated third round tie 14 months after beating Chris Wilder’s side 3-0 in last season’s competition.
But Wilson, insisting that result will have no bearing on this latest encounter, said: “This is the stage when people start to get really interested in the tournament.
“There will be shocks and there will be upsets.
“Some big teams are going to end up with egg on their faces and we must do everything to ensure we are not one of those.
“For us, it’s a winnable match. We view every game in the same way.
“But we are going to have to go down there with a very positive attitude because there are so many variable which make this a very, very tough draw.”
Wilder, who guided Oxford out of the Conference three years ago, is a lifelong United supporter and made more than 100 appearances for the South Yorkshire club before joining neighbours Rotherham in 1992.
Nevertheless, he made no attempt to disguise his disappointment at the manner of Oxford’s defeat when they last locked horns with United and Wilson added: “There have been lots of personnel changes down there, just as there has been with us. The one thing that won’t change down at Oxford though is Chris’s commitment.
“In fact, I’m absolutely convinced he’ll be even more determined to get one over on us than ever because of what happened before.”
United, who have dispatched Bristol Rovers and Port Vale en route to Oxfordshire, remained second in the League One table following Tuesday’s draw with Doncaster Rovers.
Wilson is expected to hand new signing Jamie Murphy his debut after the winger officially put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year contract yesterday.
The Blades boss was informed last night that Manchester United want to terminate John Cofie’s loan. Cofie, who had been scheduled to remain with United until the end of the campaign, has made only nine starts after arriving on a youth contract.
Oxford are 13th in League Two but Wilson said: “Chris will get them into the top six or seven this season. I’ve got no doubts about that whatsoever.”
TEAMS & REF:
* OXFORD (possible): Clarke, Batt, Duberry, Wright, O’Brien, Capaldi, Cox, Leven, Parker, Potter, Craddock (4-4-2).
* BLADES (possible): Long, McMahon, Maguire, Hill, Higginbotham, Murphy, Doyle, McDonald, Flynn, Kitson, Blackman (4-4-2).
* Carl Boyeson: Based in East Yorkshire, he took charge of the FA Cup meeting between these two teams at Bramall Lane last season. Averages 2.63 cautions per game this term and a sending-off every 9.5. Finished the 2011/12 campaign with figures of 2.64 and 3.36 respectively. One of those red cards - Peter Hartley - came when Sheffield United beat Hartlepool 1-0 in March.