By Ian Dipple 13/04 Updated: 13/04 14:49
LEE HENDRIE has been declared fit to play ahead of Redditch United's crunch home clash tomorrow (Saturday) against title chasing Oxford City.
The former Aston Villa man played a key part in the Reds' 3-1 win last week over Evesham but was withdrawn halfway through the second half with a calf strain and was absent from Monday's defeat at Stourbridge.
Initially a doubt for the Oxford match, Hendrie has now been declared fit to play and manager Graham Hyde said it was a massive boost to the team, which sits just two points above the relegation zone in the Southern League Premier Division with three games to go.
"You could see from the performance and the result last Saturday what Lee brings to the team and we missed him at Stourbridge, so to have him back in the side is massive," he said.
"We have a lot of young players in the dressing room and Lee has the ability to be able to calm them down during games, get on the ball and get us playing. He has been a fantastic signing for us already."
Oxford City are unbeaten in four games but the Reds earned a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in August and Hyde believes three points tomorrow would be a major step towards safety with their remaining fixtures against fellow strugglers Arlesey Town and Weymouth.
"We've put some good performances together in the last three games and it's unfortunate we've only got three points out of them but we need to put in another one on Saturday and give a good account of ourselves," he said.
"We don't know how many points we'll need to be safe but our fate is in our hands. If we can get two wins out of three that will be enough to secure our future in this division next year.
"The players are more than capable and three points Saturday would be a big step towards safety."
Redditch United versus Oxford City kicks-off at the Valley Stadium at 3pm.
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