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McCALL EXPECTING STRONG OXFORD CHALLENGE

31 January 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall says City cannot rely on any possible FA Cup hangover from Oxford United in this Tuesday's (31 January 2017) rearranged Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final tie at the Kassam Stadium.


Following last week's postponement, McCall's men will once again make the last-eight trip to the Kassam Stadium to face a home side undoubtedly still on a high after defeating Newcastle United 3-0 in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round last Saturday.


Rather than be distracted by their run to the final sixteen of the famous competition though, McCall believes Oxford will be boosted by their giant-killing success over Rafa Benitez's Championship promotion hopefuls.


McCall said: “We’ve both had good results over the weekend."


“But realistically their players will know they’ve got a far better chance of getting to Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy than the FA Cup.


“Oxford are in a good place at the moment on a strong run, there is no denying that. On the back of beating Rochdale 4-0 away in the league, they’ve just enjoyed a great victory over Newcastle.


“I wouldn’t be surprised if they strengthen in the window after allowing Ryan Taylor to go out (to Plymouth Argyle) and having the cup money as well.


"As I've always said though, we know we can be a match for any side in this division on our day.


"We have to take the positives from Saturday and bring that same sort of football into Tuesday night.


“Nathaniel Knight-Percival (ankle) and Filipe Morais (calf) are still out so we’ve got the same group of players going down as last time. 


"With Tony McMahon still suspended and Alex Jones and Alex Gilliead cup-tied, we’ll have the same sort of numbers for the bench as we did last week."


With this Tuesday's game coming within the last few hours of the January transfer window, McCall faces the fairly unique situation of trying to balance both.


Despite travelling and preparing for the Oxford game for most of the day, McCall says it is only the duration of the game itself that he won't be keeping in touch regarding potential transfers.


He said: “The ninety minutes will be the only time I turn off my phone!"


"I will be in close contact throughout the day but I will be leaving the deals to Edin (Rahic), James (Mason) and Greg (Abbott) to try and finalise back at the stadium."


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