Karl Robinson feels that his side can still sneak into the play-offs this campaign, even with only three fixtures left before the season comes to a close.
The boss has led his side into the top half and they have spent a large part of the season in the top six. However, they have dropped to eighth in the rankings and there is now a five-point gap between themselves and sixth-placed Sunderland.
It may mean that they struggle to break back into the play-offs and may have to settle for consolidation, unless the Black Cats and others drop points and the U’s continue to win their games.
Quiz: What club do these 25 players from the Oxford United 2016/17 squad play for now?
Speaking to the club’s official website though, Robinson still fancies the chances of his side – and claimed that they ‘have given themselves a chance’ thanks to their win over Fleetwood.
It was a closely fought affair, with the Cod Army not going down without a fight, as they face their own struggles at the other end of the division. In the end though, it was Oxford who came out as winners in a 3-2 victory.
Tonight, they face another stern test against MK Dons, with their opponents also eyeing a potential berth in the Championship next season. They’re on course for a play-off spot at the very least and could even sneak into the automatic promotion spots with some wins – so they’ll be up for this contest just as much as Karl Robinson is.
The U’s boss though has told the club’s official website that he feels they have a chance to sneak back into the top six and that all of their last three fixtures are ‘big games.’
He said: “We have given ourselves a chance [at the play-offs] with that win on Friday.
“It got tense but that’s what happens at this stage of the season. I was watching what happened with Liverpool over the weekend, and with the MK Dons game against Sheffield Wednesday.
“There is a nervous tension that adds to the fatigue levels, but we had the mental strength to see it through and now we have another big game – I think I will be saying that about each of the games we have left now.”
Karl Robinson has done another solid job with Oxford this season, even if they don’t end up sealing a play-off spot.
It looks less and less likely now, with that final spot well and truly in the hands of Sunderland as things stand. The U’s fate is no longer in their own hands and that means they’ll be reliant on other results, even if they do manage to win their final three games of the season.
There might be some who feel that an eighth place finish is not good enough for Oxford, with many desperate to see the side finally break into the Championship. It hasn’t happened so far though and Robinson will certainly be trying to deliver it this season for as long as it is possible.
A win over MK Dons would definitely help their case – but a loss and it could all be over for the club this season.