Rose rooting for old boys Oxford in league two promotion battle

Danny Rose in action for Oxford United earlier this season
Danny Rose in action for Oxford United earlier this season

The Cobblers long ago booked their place in Sky Bet League One, but it is still to be decided who will be joining them from league two next season.

Nerves will be jangling around the country on Saturday afternoon as Accrington Stanley, Oxford United and Bristol Rovers battle it out to claim the two remaining automatic promotion places.

Stanley and Oxford are in the box seats, as they know home wins over Stevenage and Wycombe Wanderers respectively will seal the deal.

But if either of them slip up, Bristol Rovers will surely see off already-relegated Dagenham & Redbridge at the Memorial Ground to pouce and steal their place, and it promises to be an exciting afternoon.

The Cobblers are in the enviable position of already being promoted so are nice and relaxed, but one player will be keeping a keen eye on the fortunes of his former club.

Danny Rose only left Oxford in January after spending four years at the Kassam Stadium over two spells, and the midfielder admits he is rooting for his former team-mates to get over the line.

“I have a lot of friends at Oxford United, especially on the playing side, I have friends for life there,” said Rose, who will be playing for the Cobblers at Portsmouth on Saturday while the promotion battle rages on.

“I do hope for their sake they can get up, because they have worked really hard all season and had a great season.

“With them being my friends, it will be a massive shame if they don’t get themselves over the line this weekend.

“They have the quality to get over the line, but it is one game and anything can happen.

“I know that on paper, Accrington and Bristol Rovers have easier looking games perhaps, but it is in Oxford’s own hands. That is the ideal position to be in.”

Indeed, if Oxford do get the win they need, Rose could lay claim to enjoying a double promotion celebration, as he made 19 appearances for Oxford this season before making the switch to the Cobblers.

Rose is understandably delighted he made the move to Sixfields, a move that ended in him winning a league two title medal, but he admits it was a hard call to leave the Kassam Stadium.

“That was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in my career,” said the former Manchester United trainee.

“I had been at Oxford for a total of four years, and it is a club that is close to my heart.

“I had a good relationship with the fans and a lot of good friends there, so the decision to leave was a really hard one, even knowing it was the right decision for me and my career.

“There was the opportunity to rejoin Chris, and I already knew a few of the lads here and they assured me I was walking into a club that was going places.

“Also, I wasn’t playing at Oxford at the time amnd it became a no-brainer if the deal could be done, and I am happy that I made the move, played as many games as I have done, and I’ve got a medal.”