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Oxford sell two of their best players to try and help ease Newcastle United into FA Cup fifth round

2 weeks ago
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It is Oxford v Newcastle up next, as Steve Bruce’s team attempt to see NUFC through to the FA Cup fifth round for the first time in Mike Ashley’s reign.

The game is set to be a full house as Newcastle fans swiftly bought up the 1,800 away allocation and on Monday morning, Oxford United ave confirmed that when the ticket office opened for business this morning there were less than 100 tickets still unsold in the home sections.

Oxford made a good game of it at St James Park and looked comfortable against a Newcastle team lacking creativity and goals, plus Steve Bruce refusing to use more attacking tactics/formation. The away side indeed could have won the tie at the first attempt, Karl Darlow making some decent saves.

The good news for Steve Bruce is that Oxford have given him a couple of helping hands.

Two of their best players were sold on deadline day and so won’t be available for the replay.

Financial reality has meant that even though they are going for League One promotion (eighth, one point behind seventh placed Sunderland but with a game in hand), Oxford have had to take the cash on offer for two of their midfielders who started at St James Park.

Brentford are in the Championship play-off positions as they chase a place in the Premier League for the first time and they made a double signing.

With 24 year old Tariqe Fosu (10 goals from midfield so far this season) and fellow midfielder 21 year old Shandon Baptiste heading to Brentford.

Despite losing the pair, Oxford came back from a goal down to beat Blackpool 2-1 on Saturday, to help keep them in the running for promotion.

Oxford United official announcement – 31 January 2020:

Oxford United can confirm that both Tariqe Fosu and Shandon Baptiste have completed transfers to Brentford for undisclosed fees.

Midfielder Shandon is the latest in a long line of players to step up in to the first team via the Academy after joining as a scholar while Tariqe has made a big impact since joining from Charlton Athletic in the summer.

Shandon made 42 appearances, scoring five times, while Tariqe netted ten times in 33 appearances.

Head Coach Karl Robinson told us:

“As a football club we are immensely proud to see two young men grow not just into very talented footballers but also into good people; very gracious and very humble as well as hard-working.

“I have known Tariqe a long time now while Shandon has been here longer and was actually out on loan in non-league when I arrived. Both of them have unbelievable ability and have hopefully enjoyed their football just as much as we have enjoyed working with them.

“They leave on good terms and I think it says a lot about this football club that they both want to come along to watch us tomorrow against Blackpool. Everything has been done the right way and we look forward to seeing their careers continue to develop.”

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