Andy Whing is desperate to help lift the mood as Oxford United attempt to get back on track at the Kassam Stadium when in-form Southend United visit this afternoon.

The U’s have been booed off in their last two games on home soil, following defeats to Shrewsbury Town and Cheltenham Town.

No-one in the United squad is better-placed to empathise with the supporters’ position than Whing, who is a lifelong – and long-suffering – Aston Villa fan.

The midfielder admitted he completely understood the frustrations, having booed at Villa Park on countless occasions, but is also aware it does not help the side perform.

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He said: “I have these battles in my own head because I see both sides of it.

“I’m exactly the same as them, if you put me in the Holte End I’m the worst.

“On the other side of it if I get booed off at half-time I think ‘what is happening here?’ “As a footballer it is hard, but you do need them, especially when you’re at home and we’ve been struggling.

“We’re not that far away, we just need things to click for us, get a bit of momentum and get a good feel about the place, especially at home.”

The 30-year-old knows the reaction comes from a long-standing feeling United should be doing better at home, where they face Southend and Exeter City in the next two games.

“Of course, it boils down to frustration,” he said.

“At the minute, we don’t really want look at the league table, but they probably are – seeing we’re 15th and getting beaten at home.

“It’s not quite happening at the minute and it’s been like that the last few seasons really.

“It is something we need to address quickly and hopefully we can with start with two big home games coming up."

Southend, play-off participants in three of the last four seasons, are again in the promotion mix thanks to a run of one league defeat since October.

United head coach Michael Appleton knows his side have their work cut out this afternoon.

He said: “They’ve recruited some good players and have a very competitive budget in the league.

“I fully expected them to be where they are.

“They’re a side that week-in week-out don’t tend to change much.

“You know exactly what you’re going to have to deal with and they tend to turn up most weeks."

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