Several players are out of contract in the summer at Oxford United, I have given my opinion on who I think should stay and who I think should go.
OUT OF CONTRACT PLAYERS IN THE SUMMER:
Danny Rose- I definitely think the recent performances of the former Manchester United trainee have warranted a new contract at the club. I am not entirely sure if what is happening is a similar situation to what I think happened with Asa Hall a few years ago. He was relatively average until he realised that he needed a new contract, then suddenly started to play well. Danny Rose was the forgotten man a month ago, now he is bang in form after a number of impressive displays. I do think he should be offered a new contract.
Jamie Ashdown- He is an average goalkeeper. He is no where near the standard of Ryan Clarke or even Max Crocombe. We have no reason to keep on a back up goalkeeper, with Max Crocombe likely to return from a loan spell at Nuneaton Town. Ashdown isn't getting any younger as well. I think Ashdown should be released.
Michael Collins- This is a really tricky one. He quite clearly has plenty of ability but hasn't done it on a consistent level this season. I have heard rumours that players like Liam Sercombe and Marlon Pack could be joining the club in the summer and if that's the case then there is no need to offer Collins a new contract.
Jeremy Balmy- For all I know this kid could be the next Cristiano Ronaldo. However I've never seen him play so I can't really comment. It's clear that this signing was just a waste of time and it is very unlikely that he'll still be at Oxford next season.
John Campbell- I think Michael Appleton signed this guy with no knowledge on him whatsoever because he was out the door as soon as he had signed. It's clear the manager doesn't rate and despite him impressing on a loan spell at Torquay United, I don't think we will see him in an Oxford shirt again.
Sam Long- We have a clause in Sam Long's contract meaning that we can keep him for an extra year. This has to be activated because Long is one of hottest prospects in the Oxford team at the moment. He played really well in the last two games and I hope to see more of him in the coming years.
Jake Wright- Unfortunately Jake Wright has attracted criticism from some of the fans this season. I agree that this has not been Wright's best season at the club but people were spouting nonsense such as "he's useless" and that "he is a liability". I have never heard so much rubbish in all my life and if I was the manager I would offer him a new deal in a heartbeat. However I am not sure if he wants to stay and may look for a new challenge at a different club.
Andrew Whing- I have always liked Whingy, however I fear his days could be numbered at Oxford United. I love his hard work, commitment and never say die attitude. I am not going to lie and pretend he has bags of footballing ability, his passing isn't great and he is not going to score too many goals. However on a frozen muddy pitch in December, I can't think of too many players I would rather have. I would give him another year if I was Michael Appleton.
Will Hoskins- He has been plagued with injuries since the second he signed the dotted line to join Oxford United. I think it would be a huge risk to offer Hoskins a new contract, a risk that isn't worth taking in my opinion.
Jon Meades- I think Jon Meades desperately needs a fresh start. He was injured for the whole of his first season and hasn't played much this season either. He can't even get on the bench these days and I think it's inevitable he will leave the club in the summer.
Josh Shama- Not really one I can comment on because I have only seen him the play the odd friendly game. He seems like has some pace and a bit of skill but whether he is Football League standard is extremely questionable. I would not offer Shama a new deal, although I admit I have limited knowledge on this player.
Joe Skarz- Michael Appleton seems to rate Joe Skarz very highly and no matter what my opinion is I am 99% sure he will be offered a new contract. Whether he wants to stay or not is a different matter but I'm sure he will at least be offered a new deal. I agree that keeping him would be the correct decision.
Matt Bevans- In the few games that I have seen Bevans play, he has impressed me. However he picked up a really nasty injury last year. With his well known history of long term injury problems I am not sure the risk of offering Bevans a contract is worth it. I think Matt Bevans will probably end up in non-league and I wouldn't personally retain him.