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Match Previews

Match Preview | Port Vale vs Oxford United

15 March 2024

Match Previews

Match Preview | Port Vale vs Oxford United

15 March 2024

The Valiants return to Vale Park on Saturday as we welcome Oxford United to Burslem.

The Vale come into the game off the back of a solid 0-0 draw at Leyton Orient on Tuesday night. Both Vale and Orient had chances to take the points over the course of the game, but neither did and we returned from the capital with a point and a clean sheet

Gaffer’s Comments

Here’s what the gaffer had to say following our draw against Leyton Orient:

“Credit to the boys for showing the commitment tonight and the courage to stick to the task. We tweaked the shape a little more and freshened it up with one or two personnel coming in. Considering we had 24-48 hours to work on that, it was good.”

“There was more solidity about the shape, there was more concentration and commitment and they worked hard together to earn that point.”

The Opposition:

Saturday's opponents, Oxford United, currently sit in 8th place, just one point outside the Play Offs. They come into the game off the back of three defeats in their last four games.

On Tuesday night they were on the receiving end of a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers at the Toughsheet Community Stadium. Despite a flying start to the season, the U’s have dropped down the table after picking up three wins in 2024.

Who’s in Charge

Oxford are managed by Des Buckingham who joined the club in November 2023 after Liam Manning left the club to manage Bristol City. The 39-year-old has spent most of his coaching career in New Zealand and Australia, in fact, he is the youngest-ever manager in the A-League after he managed Wellington Phoenix aged 31 years old.

Since then, Buckingham has spent time at the New Zealand national team, Melbourne City and Mumbai City before returning to England to manage his boyhood club.

In his 26 games in the hot seat at Oxford, they have won 8, drawn 7 and lost 11. Scoring 35 goals and conceding 45. 

Player to watch - Cameron Brannagan

The 27-year-old midfield has already made over 250 appearances for Oxford United since joining the club in 2018. So far this season, he has scored nine goals and assisted seven in what has been a very productive season.

The central midfielder has been pivotal for the U’s and he will be looking to help his team get back into the Play Off spots to round off a successful season for him and his side.

Fixture Throwback 

Oxford United 1-2 Port Vale, Saturday 2nd September 2023.

The sides met in September and it was The Valiants who ran out victorious in an entertaining fixture at the Kassam Stadium.

After a relatively uneventful first hour, the game sparked into life after Oxford striker Mark Harris was shown a straight red card in the 63rd after an off-the-ball incident which the officials spotted and swiftly took action.

Just ten minutes later, Vale made their man advantage count when Alex Iacovitti headed home his first goal for the club with a glancing flick at the near post.

In the 93rd minute, Oxford thought they had snatched a point late on when Greg Leigh tucked home a cross from the left.

Just minutes later, Leigh went from hero to zero after he picked up a second booking for a late tackle on Mitch Clark.

In the 98th minute, Ben Garrity was brought down in the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Alfie Devine stepped up for Vale and calmly slotted home the penalty to spark bedlam in the away end and earn The Valiants another three points on the road.

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