• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford United’s James Henry on playing two strikers up front


Sep 3, 2022

JAMES Henry says a tweak in formation for Oxford United has helped the U’s get their season into gear.

A slow start saw Karl Robinson’s side take three points from their first four matches in Sky Bet League One.

However, the signing of Kyle Joseph has allowed Robinson to partner the Swansea City loanee with Matty Taylor or Billy Bodin up front.

READ MORE: Karl Robinson braced for battle against good friend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

The potential of Joseph and Taylor through the middle was highlighted in midweek with both getting on the scoresheet as the U’s beat Leyton Orient 5-0 in the Papa John’s Trophy.

That win followed the 2-1 win at Cheltenham Town, and Henry noted the impact playing with two forwards has had.

“It’s been a good week, two wins that were much-needed,” he said.

“The change of shape has helped us in the last couple of games and the boys have performed well.

“With the players we’ve got available at the moment, it’s worked for us, it’s helped us to get two men up front and to get better scoring opportunities.

“We still want to do better, hopefully on Saturday we can start then.”

Henry played at right wing-back against Leyton Orient, adding a further string to his bow, with the 33-year-old comfortable in central midfield or out wide.

On playing the more defensive wing-back role, Henry said: “I suppose it’s not too dissimilar to right wing, if anything you find yourself in higher positions.

“It’s quite nice, I quite enjoyed it to be fair. To be versatile is only a good thing.”

Key to United climbing back up the table will be ensuring the Kassam Stadium becomes a fortress.

The U’s have won 13 of of their 23 home matches in League One, in each of the last two seasons.

Henry said: “You look over the last three years how well we’ve done at our home ground.

“We need that place to be a fortress again. If you’re winning your home games and picking up the odd result away from home, it’s certainly a lot easier.”

Burton Albion, the visitors to the Kassam today, sit bottom of League One having picked up just one point from their opening six games.

However, Henry dismissed the form book, acknowledging there are no easy fixtures in the division.

“I don’t think you look at someone’s run, you just know that every team is going to cause problems and make it difficult,” he said.