Dyche would relish the chance to start for Cobblers at Oxford United

Mac Dyche heads away a cross. Picture: Pete NortonMac Dyche heads away a cross. Picture: Pete Norton
Mac Dyche heads away a cross. Picture: Pete Norton
Teenage defender up for the challenge if given the nod

Young defender Max Dyche says he would relish the challenge should he be handed his first start for the Cobblers at Oxford United this evening.

Town could be without as many as 10 first-team players for the trip to the Kassam Stadium, including three centre-backs. Luka Racic and Alan Sheehan are injury doubts while Cian Bolger is suspended. .

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That could open the door for 17-year-old Dyche, who came on for the final 20 minutes against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

"It would be an absolute pleasure to start," he said. "We've got to keep working hard and all I'm focussed on is to have success as a team, as well as getting my own success.

"If I do start, brilliant. If I don't, it's still brilliant because I'm in and around the first-team and that's a dream come true and I'm just happy to be involved.

"It's really important to have a manager that plays young players and for him to have the faith in me to put me on in such a difficult game on Saturday is a big boost and it encourages me to kick-on. I'm really grateful for that."

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Despite Dyche's best efforts, his Town debut ended in defeat as Crewe scored twice in the second-half, including in stoppage-time, to cancel out Ricky Holmes' early opener.

"It's really frustrating," Dyche admitted. "We put a lot into the game and the team worked really hard. It looked like the dream start to get a goal after a few minutes but it was tough to take when it went to 1-1 and then we went down to 10 men.

"It was unfortunate because I didn't think it was a red card but we move on. We tried to grind out a point at the end of the game and we kept going until the dying minutes but the ref added on five minutes and with virtually the last kick they score a goal.

"It's heartbreaking, especially as a team we worked so hard and tried to grind out a result."