DES Buckingham has revealed the reason why Sonny Perkins was left out of the matchday squad as Oxford United progressed to the last 16 of the EFL Trophy.

Leeds United loanee Perkins has found minutes hard to come by since joining in August, making just six appearances, only three of which have come in Sky Bet League One.

He has however played twice in the EFL Trophy, during the group stage, starting both home games against MK Dons and Chelsea Under-21s, opening the scoring in the 5-0 win against the latter, his only goal so far while with the U’s.

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Gatlin O’Donkor started up front against Forest Green Rovers last night, with Mark Harris the only recognised striker on the bench, replacing O’Donkor for the final 20 minutes.

United head coach Buckingham said: “We can only bring seven [substitutes] with us, and we looked at Sparky, and if we wanted to make that change, it would be him.

“So rather than have someone that’s going to sit on the bench and not come on, we made that decision and that’s all it was.”