OXFORD United are sweating on the fitness of skipper John Mousinho for tomorrow night’s visit to fellow strugglers Rochdale.

The 32-year-old was withdrawn at half-time in their 1-0 defeat at Gillingham with a tight calf.

It was a precautionary measure and more will be known today about whether he will be sidelined for a crucial few days which also sees Bradford City visit this weekend.

Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood admitted it was a concern given Mousinho’s importance to the side.

He said: “The games where we haven’t played Mous this season we’ve struggled massively.

“He’s almost an unsung hero in there with how good he is as a captain and calming the ship.

“We’ve tried a couple of games without him and they haven’t gone too great.

“There’s no coincidence there, he’s a big player for us. He’s someone if he’s fit I think he has to play.”

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If Mousinho is ruled out, Ahmed Kashi’s encouraging performance as a substitute offered hope.

Eastwood said: “He’s very relaxed on the ball and keeps it very simple.

“I thought he looked very good in the second half and he might have to fill in if Mous is injured for Tuesday night.”

Gillingham’s 89th-minute winner meant Eastwood’s excellent penalty save to keep out Tom Eaves was of scant consolation.

He said: “It counts for nothing really.

“I thought it was a game that could have gone either way.

“We didn’t take our chances as we have been and to concede late as we did is a massive kick in the teeth.

“It’s quite windy and I think a couple of lads have switched off.

“They might have thought it was going out, but it’s been headed back across and then nodded in.”