JAKE Wright felt Oxford United’s defeat at Southend was the toughest to take of the entire season as a “perfect” away performance was ruined by a late goal.

Wright blasted United’s display in losing 3-0 at Fleetwood Town a week earlier.

This time, the Oxford skipper was even more disheartened.

He said: “I’m gutted, I think for 85 minutes apart from (not scoring) it was the perfect away performance.

“We were solid, disciplined, Luke (McCormick) didn’t have a save to make and we created a lot of good chances.

“If we carry on playing like that away from home we’ll pick up a lot of points. But I think that’s probably the hardest loss for me to take this season.

“Away at Fleetwood we were rubbish and deserved to get beat, but we deserved three points against Southend and if we couldn’t get that then we definitely didn’t deserve to lose.”

With a 1-1 draw against Burton Albion coming in between the two defeats, it means the U’s have taken just one point from their last three games.

After hauling themselves back into play-off contention with an eight-game unbeaten run, which included four successive wins, the gap to the top seven has opened up once again.

There are now seven points between the play-off places and United, which is a blow to the players.

Wright said: “That’s the frustrating thing. We’d done the difficult part to get back up to within three points of fourth at one stage.

“Now obviously it’s a lot more – it’s frustrating we got so close and we’ve had three poor results.

“The last two games we’ve dominated and should have won.”