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Oxford are ‘petrified’ of City’s front two says Foyle
12:00pm Saturday 15th May 2010 in York City v Oxford United - Wembley play-off final By Dave Flett , Sports reporter
Both players have already scored against the U’s this season and much of the Oxford camp’s pre-match discussion about the Bootham Crescent club’s strengths has focused on City’s striking partners.
Foyle, who has conceded in the past that his side have sometimes struggled against 4-3-3 formations, also feels the team are now fully equipped to contend with the same tactical approach from Oxford.
He said: “They will definitely go 4-3-3 and we know exactly how we will deal with that. In the past, we have struggled a bit with two centre-halves against one centre-forward, but it’s not that much of a problem.
“We probably need to push their full-backs back more than we have in the past against 4-3-3 teams, but we have created chances in those matches and must take them if they come our way again. We also know they are petrified of Richard Brodie and Michael Rankine.”
Like Oxford manager Chris Wilder, Foyle will be sticking with the same starting XI that won through to the final, but has admitted the decision as to who makes his bench is a difficult one.
Reserve ’keeper Josh Mimms is a certainty, while club captain Daniel Parslow and £55,000 summer signing Michael Gash also look strong contenders. But fellow striker Richard Pacquette, who has recovered from a hamstring twinge that caused him to miss training earlier in the week, will be fighting for the remaining two places along with Djoumin Sangare, Adam Smith, Courtney Pitt, Paul Harsley, Jamie Clarke and Kevin Gall.
Foyle added: “It’s very, very hard to pick the substitutes. The players know what the starting XI is but the substitutes have been changing recently depending on whether we’ve been home or away, or playing in the league or the cup.
“I don’t usually go with a ’keeper but I will do in a one-off match. There will be one or two broken hearts, but I can’t please everybody.”
Despite the enormity of tomorrow’s match, Foyle stressed his players were not getting carried away with the occasion.
He is also instructing everybody not to fall foul of any bait-rising, having been a member of the Port Vale team that went down to ten men and ended up losing the 1993 League One play-off final 3-0 to West Brom.
Foyle said: “They know what’s at stake, but there’s no need to get excited and I want them to be composed and level-headed.”
The City chief, who has never won promotion as a manager, did admit the game represents one of his most important in the dugout.
He added: “It’s got to be up there because of the reward at the end of it. In League One with Port Vale, you used to play teams like Nottingham Forest and Swansea so, because we are in non-League football, you could argue they are bigger games.
“But, as a one-off match, you can’t get much bigger than getting back into the Football League.”
City booked their place at Wembley after back-to-back 1-0 wins, taking their tally to 13 for the campaign.
Even this week’s internal practice match had the same outcome, winger Smith scoring with the last kick.
Oxford have also racked up a dozen 1-0 victories but Foyle does not believe the same scoreline is inevitable.
He said: “It will be tight but things might change if the first goal goes in early.
“Oxford might choose to sit back if they go in front but will probably change their 4-3-3 formation if we take the lead. Both teams will need a Plan ‘B’.”
Foyle added he would be confident of his side’s fitness levels should the game require extra-time although he confessed watching a penalty shoot-out might prove too much for him.
“Extra time is something you have to plan for and I think we have players who can run all day,” he said.
“If it goes to penalties anything can happen. I never watch them and would probably go for a walk down the tunnel because, after wishing everybody all the best, I don’t like to see anybody made a scapegoat in that situation.”
With City supporters set to be dwarfed by Oxford’s following, Foyle is just pleased there will be a crowd worthy of the occasion.
He said: “Our supporters have been good away from home and, even though they will be outnumbered, the players will thrive on the atmosphere both sets of fans generate.”