• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Oxford United’s injuries create chance to partner Matty Taylor and Kyle Joseph


Aug 22, 2022

IT seems crazy to be saying this three weeks into the season, but Oxford United are short on wingers going into tomorrow’s clash with Morecambe.

There are fears Marcus Browne could be out for some time with the knee injury he sustained against Lincoln City, while neither Josh Murphy nor Yanic Wildschut are close to a return.

It leaves Tyler Goodrham and Jodi Jones as the only available attacking wide men, unless the U's pull a surprise signing out of the hat.

READ MORE: Oxford United boss set to 'change the jigsaw' for Morecambe clash

With United thin on the wing, Karl Robinson has hinted at a tactical change – and you would hope it ends in a ‘2’.

Kyle Joseph partnered Matty Taylor up front for the last half an hour against Lincoln and there is surely no better time to start the duo together.

Taylor has not registered a single shot in the last two matches, which is down to a lack of service as much as his own performances.

If United lined-up in a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 diamond tomorrow the No 9 would no longer be so isolated up front. Not only would he have another striker alongside him, but also an attacking midfielder in behind.

Taylor and Joseph are different types of players and the Swansea City loanee can occupy defenders with his energy, creating space for his teammate.

Taylor’s last prolific spell was in a 3-4-1-2 formation this spring – between the games at Charlton Athletic and Shrewsbury Town he scored five goals in six matches, mostly with Sam Baldock alongside him, but also Browne and Gavin Whyte.

It must be said that wing backs Mark Sykes and Ryan Williams were both key to that system, so it might not be as effective with neither player still at the club.

Whether in a 4-4-2 diamond or a 3-4-1-2, the front two would still need service from out wide and that falls on the players picked for those positions.

But it is undeniable that United have not got the best out of Taylor this season, so a change of system could be a blessing in disguise.