ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman and striker Billy Kee both believe Paul Smyth can prove to be a strong signing for the club.

The frontman, on loan from Championship club Queens Park Rangers, opened his account for the Reds in Friday night's 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

He was replaced in the second half at the Stadium of Light with a slight injury but will hope to be available to take his place in the XI for the visit of Oxford United in League One tonight.

And Coleman believes the Northern Ireland international has a lot to offer, if he can continue produce the kind of displays shown in the North East.

"He was lively and if you give him the ball and give him an opportunity then he can be a threat," said the Reds boss of the 23-year-old.

"We didn't really get him into the game against Scunthorpe and that was disappointing.

"We have to be mindful and he has to be mindful to maybe adapt his game to be more effective.

"If he is getting frozen out of the game then he maybe wants to stretch the opposition and not condense it as he possibly did against Scunthorpe.

"We want him on the last defender rather than dropping deep to try and get the ball."

It was Kee who ended Stanley's league goal drought when he converted a penalty on the half hour before Smyth added the second.

And Kee was impressed with his strike partner's man of the match display.

“Paul has come into the team, he hasn’t played many games this year and has run his socks off,” said Kee of his strike partner's performance against the Black Cats.

“He got the penalty for us, he got his goal and he deserved the man of the match for me. Having someone like Paul keeps everyone on their toes."

Should Smyth not win his fitness race tonight then the Reds could opt for Middlesbrough loanee Luke Armstrong or Offrande Zanzala to partner Kee.

Centre back Ross Sykes is also a doubt having gone off injured at Sunderland. Ben Richards-Everton is in line for a starting spot should the youngster not recover.