Des Buckingham enjoying selection headache provided by full backs

Ahead of Oxford United’s first leg of their Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final against Peterborough United, who would be selected at full back was arguably the biggest talking point for the U’s.

Fin Stevens and Joe Bennett started the final day of the regular season at Exeter City, but with Sam Long back from illness, and Greg Leigh still in contention, all eyes on the team sheet against the Posh were on who would be at full back.

United head coach Buckingham stuck with Stevens at right back, and Bennett on the other side, and both players performed admirably.

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Buckingham said: “It’s one of the biggest headaches that I’ve got, which is a wonderful problem to have, after the Christmas and New Year period where we didn’t really have anyone.

“In all honesty, I could’ve started either of them on both sides. I thought the backline last week played extremely well, and I thought they come up against similar challenges tonight, and they did well enough to keep their spots.

“But I’d be equally as happy if it was Sam or Greg, which for us right now is so important, and puts us in a good space.”

At centre half, the partnership is more set in stone, as Elliott Moore and Ciaron Brown have started nine of the last 12 games together, with the only change when Long replaced Moore for three matches while the U’s skipper missed out with a hip problem.

Asked about Moore, who scored the winning goal against the Posh, and was magnificent at the back, Buckingham said: “Both him and Ciaron have struck up a really good partnership. When you bear in mind that Ciaron was effectively a left back last year.

“He’s moved to left-sided centre back, and they’ve struck up a really solid partnership. They’re very good on the ball, as well as defending.

“I’m really pleased for Elliott to get man of the match because he was out for three games, and has only been back in last week at Exeter and tonight.”

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