Michael Appleton: Oxford United boss searches for striker cover

Oxford United striker Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor could be out of action until Easter

Oxford United manager Michael Appleton is on the hunt for a new striker before the January transfer window closes.

Appleton faces being without Ryan Taylor, 27, for at least six weeks after he picked up a groin injury against Bristol Rovers on Sunday.

"Ryan's struggling, he's seen a specialist and it could keep him sidelined anywhere above six weeks," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford.

Oxford, third in League Two, travel to fifth-placed Portsmouth on Saturday.

Appleton, who returns to the club he managed for a year between 2011-12, is hoping to bring striker Chris Maguire back to the Kassam Stadium.

Maguire, 27, returned to parent club Rotherham on Sunday after making eight appearances in a six-week loan spell with the U's.

"I think he's quite keen to return, but the ball is obviously in Rotherham's court," added Appleton. "As long as discussions between him and Rotherham go well, then hopefully we'll benefit from that."

Appleton admits January is a chance to "freshen up" his squad with the potential for players to go out on loan as well as new faces coming in.

"There's still a good week or so to try to get reinforcements in," he said. "There's certain players in our squad who deserve an opportunity to try to go and play football elsewhere.

"If they can do that and help us along the way by doing well against sides that are up there against us then so be it."