Mullins hails Oxford United's staying power

9:30am Friday 20th December 2013

By David Pritchard

OXFORD United are building a reputation for late goals which can have an impact on the opposition, according to Johnny Mullins.

The Sky Bet League Two leaders head north today ahead of their clash with York City tomorrow.

They do so full of confidence following a 91st-minute winner from Dave Kitson last Saturday, which earned a 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge.

It was the tenth goal United had scored in the final ten minutes of games this season, while they have only conceded once late on.

Without such an impressive haul, which accounts from more than a quarter of their goals, the U’s would be ninth in League Two and out of the FA Cup.

Mullins is responsible for two of the late strikes, against Bury and Wycombe in August.

The 28-year-old said: “I won’t give all the credit to (head of sports science) Al Lane, who will say we’re very fit.

“But I think there is a genuine belief here that we know we’re going to keep going until the end and we’re hopefully not going to give too much away.

“Especially once you’ve done it a few times it becomes a psychological thing.

“Teams know we are going to come on strong.

“Look at Manchester United, if it’s 1-1 you pretty much know they are going to get a winner.

“I’m not saying we’re like Man United, but if we can keep getting those late goals, if needs be, it starts to put a doubt in other teams’ minds.

“You can see sometimes when it goes into the last ten minutes other teams maybe start going on to the back foot and we come on strong.”

The defender is sure it will have been highlighted during York’s preparations this week, which could come in useful tomorrow.

He said: “You always know going into a game the other team will do their work on the opposition.

“It would be something at the minute where you would say ‘Oxford finish well’.

“Maybe it’s in the back of their minds.”

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