Oxford United’s Mark Sykes is confident that his side can cause an upset and dump in form QPR out of the EFL Cup.
Tonight, Oxford United travel to west London for a 2nd round EFL cup tie against a QPR side that is highly tipped to be in and around the promotion places, come the end of the season.
The U’s have had a recent successful run in the competition two years ago when the side knocked out higher-division Millwall and Premier League opponent West Ham United before being knocked out by Premier League champions Manchester City in the quarter-final despite giving a really good account of themselves.
Mark Sykes featured for The U’s in that cup run and is confident his side can recreate a similar run of results from two years ago in this campaign. Speaking to Oxford Mail: “At the end of the day it’s a game of football, it’s not as if you’re going into a war.
“There’s going to be good teams who create chances, but we don’t fear anyone.
“We’re good enough to deal with a lot of what teams throw at us. It goes to show over the last couple of years when the big clubs have come to the Kassam and we’ve held our own.”
Both sides have started the season well respectively. QPR are still unbeaten and currently occupy the 5th spot in the upper echelons of The Championship, whereas Oxford United suffered their first defeat of the season narrowly losing 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers last Saturday leaving the Oxfordshire side 10th in League One.
The U’s will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Bolton with a cup upset, despite it not being a league game, Sykes knows that a win against a side in the higher division will only help boost the team morale. As per Oxford Mail: “It’s alright looking at the league as our priority, but you want to win as many games as possible.
“Going to a team above you and taking a scalp does you no harm, especially going forward.
“Winning breeds winning and we want to win as many games as we can.
“Nothing happy ever comes out of a loss, so we’ll be all guns blazing”.
29 league positions separate QPR and Oxford United in tonight’s fixture so the task at hand for The U’s is a mighty one. However as Sykes reiterated, if previous EFL Cup games for The U’s are anything to go by, then The R’s may well have a game on their hands.
The U’s did very well two years ago catching both Milwall and West Ham by surprise. On the contrary, The R’s ended last season very strongly and also had a very good pre-season, coupled with a positive start to the season.
This provides QPR with a realistic ambition of promotion meaning the league may be at the forefront of Mark Warburton’s mind. This may bode well for Karl Robinson’s side as they look to exploit a likely weaker QPR side, as important first-team players will most probably be rested.