Exeter V Oxford Utd at St James Park - Match Preview

Grecians to test Doherty

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale will run the rule over Tommy Doherty ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Oxford.

The Northern Irish midfielder was described as "touch and go" for Saturday's derby match with Torquay, before it was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Doherty has not featured for the Grecians since picking up a hamstring injury the 1-0 defeat to Rotherham on November 24 but has made good progress in recent weeks and is close to making a comeback.

Experienced defender Matt Oakley was rated as doubtful ahead of the Torquay game but is expected to recover in time to face the U's, with Jimmy Keohane on hand to deputise if the former Southampton man is not passed fit.

Oxford striker Jon-Paul Pittman will miss the trip and the next 11 weeks after having surgery.

The 26-year-old suffered a dislocated shoulder earlier this month but looked set for a January return to action before his shoulder popped out again.

Former Oldham striker Josh Parker, who has joined the club on non-contract terms to provide back-up in Pittman's absence, could come into the squad.

Manager Chris Wilder will be without Adam Chapman, who fell awkwardly and injured his ankle in last week's 2-0 FA Cup victory over Accrington.

Michael Duberry came through his late return to action against Accrington unscathed having not played since May.

Simon Heslop was due to serve the last game of his three-match ban in Saturday's clash with Fleetwood, but since the game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, he will be unavailable to face Exeter instead.

Source: PA

Source: PA