U survives scare when Mark Harris is hit in training

There were plenty of hearts in mouths at Oxford United’s training ground this week when Mark Harris pulled off a brace.

The 25-year-old has led the way for United for the vast majority of the season, scoring 19 goals in 54 games in all competitions.

The U’s have been without a striker on the bench in recent weeks, with Billy Bodin and Marcus Browne the most likely options to replace Harris.

Will Goodwin is back in training following a foot problem, while Gatlin O’Donkor is back at United now that his loan spell at Barnet is over.

Losing Harris would still be a huge blow and the U’s counted their blessings when he emerged unscathed from a challenge with Greg Leigh this week.

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United first team coach Craig Short said: “We always do high-speed sprints for the boys because they have to reach this level set by sports scientists.

“Forgive the boys for not hitting that mark. You have to do well in training.

“I see guys jumping into tackles and I’ll shout ‘calm down, calm down, be relaxed’, but they are.

“They are very respectful and don’t want to hurt anyone. Mark Harris hit Greg a little and that’s fine, but your heart is in your mouth.

“They look good and have had a weekend off to prepare. They have had a busy schedule and we will just do the normal preparation that has been successful in recent weeks.”