So, we've finished September with the same number of points as we started with - a frankly appalling record for a busy month with six league matches crammed into it. On the back of such a terrible record-equalling run of six defeats, perhaps AFC Wimbledon – as one of the few sides to have accumulated fewer points than us so far – are the ideal opponents to begin October with. Of course, due to our form, Wimbledon will be viewing the fixture as a good one to kick-start their own season.
Managerless Wimbledon are currently third from bottom, with just seven points to their name, have won just twice so far this season and are the only side in the division to have conceded more goals than us – back-to-back 5-1 and 6-2 reverses at the hands of Bradford and Burton helping to send Wimbledon's goals against column up to 20. Wimbledon's current situation is rather similar to our own in some ways. After a poor start to the season they sacked manager Terry Brown after five years in charge. Since then they have won one (away at rudderless Wycombe) and lost one (at home to Accrington) – it will certainly be interesting to compare their form with ours in the coming weeks to see whether it's best to stick with the manager or if a change is needed.
Wimbledon will be boosted by the return from suspension of last year's top scorer Jack Midson, having missed their last three games through suspension. 20-year-old Yado Mambo is likely to make his debut for Wimbledon, having been signed on loan from Charlton yesterday in response to injury problems in defence. That's a situation we can sympathise with given our own injury problems but there are fortunately signs of improvement in that department, with Harry Worley the latest player to become available. Having experimented with formation and tactics against Rotherham it will be interesting to see how Wilder lines his side up and, perhaps most interestingly, whether Ryan Clarke will return in goal.
Other than Alfie Potter's brief loan spell at AFC Wimbledon in 2008, there is just the one significant link between the two clubs on the playing side. There are some people who will forever view Jack Midson as the one that got away – everyone's favourite moan of last year was that we should never have released him, but with Midson only scoring twice so far this season calls for his return have become rather more muted. Midson himself has had plenty to say on the subject of his release, but has had little luck against Oxford since then. Will this be the day he gets his revenge?
For those who put significance on history, this will will ease your doubts. In the four meetings between Oxford and the reformed Wimbledon, we have won every one, the last of which was back in March. Our record against the old Wimbledon is none too shabby either, with eight wins to their three. Let's hope we can continue that good record and end a certain bad one that has been hanging over our heads.
From the Vaults
Oxford United v Wimbledon, 18th November 1987
Little did we know it at the time, but this was to be one of the last times Oxford would play the old Wimbledon, back in 1987. Both clubs were in the First Division at the time, but it was the League Cup which brought Wimbledon to the Manor on a cold November evening.
You can find this and many other old Oxford matches on our Video Vault page.