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Rigg happy to dig in for United
Sean Rigg is prepared to push himself and play 90 minutes to help a weakened Oxford United get a result at Hartlepool United this afternoon.
The winger tore a hamstring last month and only returned to the squad a week ago.
He played 40 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield, more than he was expecting, and although the winger is not fully match fit, United’s options are limited.
Injuries to Jake Wright and James Constable have been compounded by Andy Whing and Dave Kitson picking up suspensions.
With the team’s spine missing, Rigg is happy to do what he can for the cause.
He said: “I think I could squeeze a 90 out, I might be a bit tired towards the end. “I’m feeling good and if I’m needed to play a full match, then I’m sure I can do.
“I was scheduled to come back in six to eight weeks, so to come back on the fifth week and play 40 minutes against Chesterfield was very good.
“Overall I’m happy and not feeling anything at all now.”
U’s boss Chris Wilder has few decisions to make with selection. Only 12 senior players are available – two of whom are goalkeepers.
At least half a dozen teenagers will be included in the 18-man squad and on-loan Fulham winger Ryan Williams could be handed his first league start.
Although there are problems, Wilder is still demanding high standards.
“There’s no getting away from it, we’re missing major players,” he said.
“But at times we’ve had it where our backs are against the wall and nobody expects us to get anything – then the players have shown what they’re about. “I’m expecting that reg-ardless of the big hits we’ve had to take.”
Today’s hosts have no such fitness concerns, with veteran striker Steve Howard expected to be available after missing the 2-2 draw at Bristol Rovers with illness.
Other than teenager Brad Walker’s injured ankle, manager Colin Cooper has a fully fit squad.
Hartlepool Utd: Flinders, Dolan, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Franks, Walton, Duckworth, Compton, James, Monkhouse, Collins, Poole, Rafferty, Holden, Sweeney, Richards, Rodney, Howard.
Oxford Utd: Clarke, Hunt, Raynes, Mullins, Newey, Williams, Hall, Rose, Rigg, Potter, Smalley, Marsh, Shama, O’Dowda, Davies, Ruffels, Lee, Bevans, Jalal.
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