Johnson ignores pain to boost Oxford United’s promotion bid

Oli Johnson. Picture: Steve Daniels
Oli Johnson. Picture: Steve Daniels

OXFORD United striker Oli Johnson is willing to play through the pain barrier to help his team achieve promotion from npower League Two this season.

The 24 year-old from Wakefield has successfully shaken-off a hamstring injury but is now suffering with abdominal bruising as the season reaches a nail-biting climax.

However, Johnson is determined to make an impact in the final three games of the campaign and secure a place in the play-offs. He said: “I had a scan on Wednesday and it showed that there is only bruising so I am alright to play if I have pain-killing injections.

“It has been frustrating for me over the past month but I have come off the bench in the last couple of games and I am itching to start.

“I can manage the pain and give everything I have got. We have three massive games ahead and I want to contribute as much as I can.”

The former Nostell MW marksman moved to the Kassam Stadium after leaving Norwich City in January and made an instant impression by scoring vital goals that kept United in the hunt for promotion.

Now with only three games of the season left, the U’s remain seventh with a place in the play-offs in their own hands but, with no win in their last four outings, Johnson believes that Oxford must address the inconsistency that has cost them valuable points.

He said: “We have made it difficult for ourselves. We should be comfortably in the play-offs or even challenging with the top-three but we have lacked consistency.”

“It is disappointing but we know that getting to the play-offs is in our own hands. We have dominated games but conceded sloppy goals and not been able to kill-off teams so we need to tighten-up defensively and be more clinical.”

He added: “Our aim now is to win all three of our games and take lots of confidence into the play-offs.”

United travel to struggling Plymouth Argyle on Saturday and Johnson is keen to avoid complacency, saying: “We will not be taking Plymouth lightly.

“They are fighting at the bottom of the table and they will be tough opponents but I believe we will win if we play to our best.”

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