JAMES Henry put Oxford United on the way to a crucial victory against Southend United on Saturday – but warned they are not out of relegation trouble yet.

The midfielder, who was expected to miss the game with a back injury, fired in the opening goal of the 2-0 success at the Kassam Stadium.

It took the U’s on to 50 points in Sky Bet League One, but with three of the six sides below them in the table also winning, their five-point cushion over the drop zone remained unchanged.

And Henry was in no doubt there is still work to do before United can be sure of playing in the third tier next season.

He said: “We’ve hit 50 points now, but there’s still a long way to go.

“There’s four games left for us to pick up some more points and totally steer ourselves clear.

“I think another three points is what we’re going to need, but it might be more.

“It’s quite incredible really, the one week we’ve done the business every other team seems to have done the same.

“It was a big win, but first and foremost we’ve got to look at what we’re doing and not what other teams are doing.”

Henry’s back injury meant he had watched from the stands four days earlier, when United played well but failed to take their chances before losing 1-0 in stoppage-time to Fleetwood Town.

The midfielder showed the way with his ninth goal of the campaign, but still feels the final third needs work.

He said: “We need to be doing this week-in, week-out.

“It was a good performance on Tuesday, but ultimately it meant nothing.

“I thought we played well today, but we’ve got to punish teams when we get the chances.

“I had chances in the first half to make it 2-0 and make it comfortable a little earlier. We’ve got to keep making sure we put teams away.”

The 28-year-old admitted he was expecting to be aching today after playing 90 minutes.

But his effort playing through the pain was acknowledged by a stand-ing ovation from the home fans when he was substituted in stoppage- time.

“It was really sore all week, but especially with Joe (Rothwell)’s hamstring not quite being right, I didn’t really have a choice,” he said.

“The physios and masseuses were brilliant and managed to get me out there.”