Oxford and Lincoln men make play-off claims ahead of Sunderland and Blackpool clashes plus Will Grigg nominated for award

Oxford boss Karl Robinson says his side will go into the League One play-offs as underdogs.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 4:30 pm

The U’s will face Blackpool over two legs after beating Burton 4-0 on the final day of the season, a result which moved them into the top six. Sunderland will face Lincoln in the other semi-final.

“What a season – 74 points, that’s Oxford United back in the play-offs,” said Robinson. “I’m immensely proud of everybody.

"We’ve been at this for two years and we’re now a big force in League One. We can celebrate this, because finishing in the top six is a great achievement.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson.

“For us to still be in this fight to get out of this league is quite incredible.

“We go into the play-offs nowhere near favourites. We were bottom of the league at the start of the season and in the relegation zone for three months, so it is an immensely proud moment for all of us.

‘We’ve punched above our weight,’ says Lincoln chairman

Lincoln are also trying to take the pressure off ahead of their play-off meeting with Sunderland.

After finishing fourth in the table, Imps chairman Clive Nates told Lincolnshire Live: “We’ve certainly punched above our weight.

“We know our playing budget was in the lower half of the league, so to be in the play-offs is a tremendous achievement.

“They sent out the benchmarking report a few weeks back. They have a list of all the clubs, total playing costs and various other breakdowns.

“You can only see where you are placed, you don’t see the other clubs.

“But there has been a bit of exchange of information between ourselves and certain other clubs who are prepared to share that information.

“So not only do we know where we are, we have an idea where a couple of other clubs are.”

Grigg nominated for award

Finally, Sunderland loanee Will Grigg has been nominated for the April PFA Bristol Street Motors League One Fans’ Player of the Month award.

The striker scored five times in six appearances for The Dons last month, including four goals in a 5-0 win over Swindon.

Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Malik Wilkes (Hull City), Josh Magennis (Hull City), Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United), Brennan Johnson (Lincoln City) have also been nominated.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor