IF there is one lesson Oxford United have learned from Tuesday night’s draw with Mansfield Town, it is that there is no need to man the panic stations.
Jack Thomas’s 89th-minute equaliser may have denied the U’s an important victory, but it was another point on the board against a side who are in the play-off mix.
The only thing United missed out on was further strengthening third place in Sky Bet League Two.
It would have seen them open up a seven-point gap over fourth-place.
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But as far as assistant head coach, Chris Allen, is concerned, United must maintain the composure that has served them so well this season and head to Morecambe in a confident mood.
“It goes to show how far we have come when we are treating it as a loss if you want to say that,” said the former U’s winger.
“Everyone was bitterly disappointed in that dressing room, down to the players all the way through to the staff.
“We had a little talk in there and quickly got it out of the way and look forward to Morecambe.”
United still hold a strong position in the table, but Allen believes what happened on Tuesday may serve them well in the long term from a mental point of view.
When asked if the players would need lifting after the frustrations at the Kassam Stadium, he said: “I would hope not.
“If anything it is a realisation that nothing is done and dusted.
“You can’t take any game for granted and going into Saturday I am looking at a proper galvanised situation where we can go in there and get the three points.”
The 43-year-old, who spent 12 years coaching the younger age groups at the club before stepping up to the first team last summer, added: “We wanted three points on Tuesday and we got the one and the momentum is still going.
“The ball is still ticking over.
“We are still getting points and although everyone is down, don’t be too down because at the end of the day we are still on course for where we are trying to get to.”
United look to bounce back when they travel to the Shrimps tomorrow afternoon.
They face a side who are struggling with their own home form, winning just twice in the last nine games at the Globe Arena.
Allen insists United are ready to end a winless run of three games in all competitions, but is under no illusions about how tough a match it will be on the Lancashire coast.
He continued: “I’m going to touch every piece of wood, but we haven’t gone on a run of defeats.
“Hopefully I haven’t kicked myself come Saturday and we are going to go there and get maximum points.
“When you do get a little setback, like it was on Tuesday night, we quickly look to bounce back and come back ready to rock and roll.”
Allen added: “They will have their game plan – a lot of teams make it difficult, tight in the middle and try and break us on the counter.
“We have got to be smart and astute enough to know it is going to happen and be patient with our football as well as that penetration.”