Oxford United hoping for this injury boost ahead of clash with Sunderland 'galacticos'
Oxford United are hoping that loanee Marcus Browne can make his return from injury against Sunderland.
The West Ham forward made a sparkling start to the season at the Kassam Stadium, scoring seven goals.
His progress has been checked since then but manager Karl Robinson hopes his return can be a big boost for his side.
"If it’s the Marcus Browne from the beginning of the season it is," he said.
"He’s got a lot to do to get back into the team, so now he’s got a different challenge he’s not had since he’s been at Oxford United.
"The message to Jordan [Graham] and Gavin [Whyte] is don’t let him take your shirt. There’s a competitive edge there.
"I wish we had had this competition for places at the beginning of the season, my job would have been an awful lot easier."
The Oxford boss is expecting an 'intense atmosphere', with over 10,000 fans expected.
He says recent form means his side are confident of causing an upset.
"The fans will create a very intense atmosphere” he said.
“We just want everyone to stick together. We are a unified group who will go in to the game at 3 o’clock together, and help each other all game.
"We are still changing as a football club and if there was a documentary crew filming behind the scenes here this season they would have a remarkable story.
"It has brought us all very close and if everyone stays that way then we know we can get a very important win.
“Someone called Sunderland the Galacticos of this league and their squad is unbelievable for this division," he added.
"They have players all over the pitch that should be playing higher than League One.
"But they aren’t running away with it and like any other team we play this year we know they are beatable.
“We don’t talk too much about the opposition; their league standing shows you how good they are and the names on the backs of their shirts shows that they have tremendous experience and ability available.
"But our objective is to put another defeat on their record and more importantly win the game for ourselves, but we know it is going to be one of the hardest challenges of the year against a very talented team with matchwinners all over the pitch.
“That’s a challenge we pride ourselves on rising to. It’s frustrating that we haven’t found greater consistency, but look at the home games against Portsmouth and Barnsley, or Luton who beat us with the last kick of the game; we feel we have performed well against the top sides, and that’s what we have to continue to do this weekend.”