CAPTAIN John Mousinho is hoping Oxford United’s new-found security will see them play more expansively during the run-in.

The U’s have been grinding out results in recent weeks to get clear of trouble in Sky Bet League One with five games remaining.

But while they are not yet mathematically safe from relegation ahead of today’s home fixture with AFC Wimbledon, most of the pressure has been relieved by a run of four straight wins.

And Mousinho is keen for that to translate into a performance where Karl Robinson’s side can take the handbrake off.

He said: “If you look at our last few home games – Wycombe, Bradford and Scunthorpe – they were very cagey matches.

“From that point of view, hopefully we can relax and play a bit more.

“There’s a balance to strike between being serious and making sure we’ve got our heads on the game, but also enjoying it.

“Sometimes you see sides that have got into this position down tools and sometimes you see them relax and start playing.”

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That does not mean the skipper wants United to forget what has taken them to six wins in the last eight games.

And Wimbledon’s approach should keep them honest.

Mousinho said: “We do still need a result and they certainly do.

“All of a sudden they are in with a real sniff of getting out of it, so they’re going to be very hungry to get a result.

“They need it and will be fighting for it.

“They will probably be targeting us as a side who might think they’ve done the job.

“That might be a nice incentive for them, but it should be for us as well.

“We have to match that intensity and beat it.”

United have no new injury worries, but will be forced into two changes with Ahmed Kashi and Marcus Browne suspended.

Kashi’s absence should provide an opportunity for Mousinho, who has been on the bench in recent games.

He said: “I want to play every week and be involved.

“I’m never happy not playing and that’s healthy.”

Wimbledon have received a fitness boost, with left back Steve Seddon expected to have recovered from the ankle injury which forced him off in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley.


Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Long, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels, Mousinho, Brannagan, Whyte, Henry, Garbutt, Sinclair, Mackie, Sykes, Lopes, Graham, Carruthers, Hanson, Jones, Stevens.

AFC Wimbledon: from Ramsdale, Nightingale, Seddon, Sibbick, McDonald, Kalambayi, Wagstaff, Hartigan, Wordsworth, Hanson, Pigott, Folivi, Appiah, McLoughlin, Connolly, Pinnock, Thomas, McDonnell.