OWEN Dale will not feature when Oxford United make the trip to Blackpool this weekend due to an agreement with his former employers.

The 25-year-old winger joined the U’s from the Seasiders on January deadline day last week, with suggestions since then that he would not be able to play against Blackpool as part of the deal which brought him to United for an undisclosed fee.

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U’s head coach Des Buckingham confirmed such an arrangement is in place, but pointed out that Dale can still have an impact on the club’s remaining games after this weekend.

He said: “Owen will not be part of our squad this weekend. When we signed him, there was an agreement between the two clubs that he wouldn’t play in this game.

“I’d have loved to have played him, but I can’t. We’ve signed Owen, not just for now, but for the long-term.

“We’ve got 16 games, and he’ll be available for 15 of those in the run-in, and that’s how we look at it.

“It’s about making sure he’s an asset to us for the coming years and seasons.

“Yes, it’s disappointing for that one game, but we’ve got 15 others that he’ll be available for.”