Shrewsbury Town are significantly boosted by the possible return of Steve Cotterill to the dugout as they prepare to face Oxford United.
The former Birmingham and Burnley boss had a four-month absence from the touchline after contracting a severe form of COVID-19.
But in an extremely welcome development, the club released a statement yesterday confirming that Cotterill was visiting the gym and exercising again – paving the way for a return to the dugout this weekend.
Fittingly, this clash was the last time supporters were able to attend without COVID restrictions. The first lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, was imposed days after Town suffered a 3-2 defeat against Karl Robinson’s side.
In terms of team news, Shrewsbury are set to welcome back Nigerian striker Dan Udoh who has missed the last two matches after suffering concussion in training. Goalkeeper Matija Sarkic may not play for Town again this season following his return to parent club Wolves as a result of a recurring quad issue.
The same is also true for Aaron Pierre and Josh Daniels (calf) who face a race against time if they wish to be part of the run-in. Sean Goss (hamstring) and Rekeil Pyke (unspecified) are also on the treatment table.
Shrewsbury’s last home win against Oxford arrived in April 2018 with a Shaun Whalley brace and a goal from Jon Nolan earning a 3-2 victory.
The visitors are right in the thick of a playoff push – they lie in 7th place, a point behind Portsmouth who currently occupy the final spot.
Karl Robinson is likely to be without ex-Manchester City winger Brandan Barker. He sustained a hamstring injury when these sides met a few weeks ago. Cameron Brannagan had been a doubt with a dead leg but started in the 3-1 win over Plymouth.
James Henry, who tormented Town with his set-pieces recently, is back after serving a one match suspension.
1. Burgoyne, 17. Love, 29. Pennington, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 14. Ogbeta, 16. Walker, 28. Davis, 10. Vela, 8. Norburn, 20. Main, 32. Chapman
Subs: 4. Edwards, 5. Williams, 7. Whalley, 12. Sears, 23, Udoh, 30. Caton, 41. Bevan
13. Stevens, 12. Long, 5. Moore, 22. Atkinson, 3. Ruffles, 17. Henry, 8. Brannagan, 10. Sykes, 27. Lee, 9. Taylor, 25. Shodipo
Subs: 1. Eastwood, 6. Gorrin, 11. Winnall, 14. Forde, 19. Agyei, 20. Hanson, 28. Kelly
Other League One Fixtures
Accrington V Charlton
AFC Wimbledon V Portsmouth
Bristol Rovers V Crewe
Burton V Gillingham
Fleetwood V MK Dons
Hull V Wigan
Northampton V Blackpool
Peterborough V Lincoln
Plymouth V Sunderland
Rochdale V Doncaster
Swindon V Ipswich