Oxford United boss Karl Robinson claims he has yet to field his strongest eleven this season.
The U’s are 13th in League One following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Gillingham, which saw their winless league run stretch to four games.
Injuries, illnesses, and international call-ups have not helped. However, Elliott Moore and former Liverpool midfielder Cameron Brannagan returned to the starting line-up on Saturday, with Mark Sykes and Luke McNally dropping to the bench.
Robinson believes that his squad is strong enough to cope when players are absent.
As per the Oxford Mail, he said: “When you take people out of the squad, the only thing that really matters is the football club.
“There’s nobody that knows better than me where players’ headspace is actually at.
“I know players can come in and do just as good a job as those who are coming out and we’ve seen that on Saturday.
“People have to trust what we know about our players.
“Players have come in late and we’ve had injuries and illnesses.
“I know my strongest team, but have I had a chance to play it yet? Probably not.”
Oxford took an early lead against the Gills through Matty Taylor and had 25 shots compared to the visitors’ seven, but were ultimately left to rue missed chances in the second half.
Robinson is still upbeat about United’s start to the campaign despite their recent form, which has seen two draws and two defeats from their last four outings.
He added: “I’m really enjoying this year, there’s a lot of different combinations that maybe haven’t seemed to fit together just yet, but the squad’s very good.
“This is a unique opportunity to move forward and we’re building on a fantastic base.
“We’re trying to improve in a year where the league’s going to be so peculiar.
“Certain teams are getting a bit of luck that doesn’t seem to be falling for us, but if we keep doing the right things, they’ll fall our way.”
Robinson’s men will look to secure their first league win in five matches when they host seventh-placed Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night.
Despite their current winless run, Oxford are creating enough chances to win games but have just not been able to put them away.
They had more shots and possession in their last four matches, which is perhaps why Robinson is choosing to stay positive for now.
With players still to return to the squad and Robinson believing there is more to come from his side, there’s a good chance the U’s could revitalise their season.