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FOOTBALL: Ford backing Henderson to shore up defence
10:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in Sport
Oxford City boss Mike Ford could call on the services of summer signing Lee Henderson when they host Colwyn Bay in Skrill North at Marsh Lane tomorrow.
In their opening five games, City have conceded 11 goals, including three in the second half of last Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Bradford Park Avenue.
And Ford believes that the former Didcot Town centre back, who has been away on holiday for two weeks, having made his debut against Harrogate Town on the opening day, could be part of the solution.
“Lee deserved to start against Harrogate because he did so well during pre-season,” said Ford.
“It is no coincidence that we have conceded nine goals since he went away.
“He played 90 minutes for Oxford City Nomads the other night and they didn’t concede a goal.
“I would say he has more chance of playing, than not.”
Ford said he was unlikely to make any changes upfront against Colwyn, who boast ex-Leicester striker Ade Akinbiyi in their line-up.
“Mike (Symons) has done a great job – all that could be asked of him.
“He’s played two games and scored twice, so I can’t leave him out.
“And I can’t leave Jamie Cook and Tom Winters out, who also scored.
Saul Williams, who made his City bow against Bradford after signing on loan from Forest Green Rovers, will be given another chance to impress.
“He played wide on the right, has real pace and was a threat, so he will play Saturday,” Ford said.
Meanwhile, City’s boss thinks his players need to be more canny with their game management.
“We were 3-0 up at Bradford and looked a threat,” he added.
“And when the game is going against you, you have to be brave and keep passing the ball, but I don’t think we did that. We shied away.
“It’s possibly down to a lack of concentration or maybe a bit of naivety.
“I was asked by someone after the Bradford game whether the ref ever told us to hurry up and I don’t think he ever did.
“The teams that do well are very clever at managing their games. They slow the game down and we don’t do that.
“It’s not cheating, it’s being professional. We need to be more canny.”
Oxford City (v Colwyn Bay, home): from Scott, Clifton, Stonehouse, Ballard, Learoyd, Willmott, Pond, Malone, Symons, Basham, Cook, Winters, Skendi, Benjamin, McNish, Green, Maabdi, Henderson, Williams.
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