SIMON Eastwood believes the decisive moment of Oxford United’s last campaign came at Blackpool – but the goalkeeper is expecting a very different environment tomorrow.

The scrappy 1-0 win in February was the U’s first away victory of the season in Sky Bet League One, at the 17th attempt, which saw them climb out of the relegation zone.

It came in front of just 4,000 spectators, but the subsequent change of ownership means Saturday’s clash – between two sides yet to taste a league defeat – is likely to attract around three times that figure.

Eastwood said: “Probably the tipping point last year was the Blackpool away game.

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“We beat them 1-0 to change the season and start a good run to get us out of trouble.

“I think it will be very different this time, there will be a lot more fans there so it will be a tough game, especially with the start they’ve had.

“It’s a clean slate with two teams who have had good starts.

“If we’re being honest, we’ve had a bit of a better start than we thought we would with the league games.

“I think before the season started the opening few games looked quite tough.

“So if somebody had said we’d get four points from the first two games we would have probably snapped your hand off.”

Key to the bright start has been a sound defensive unit who have conceded just once in three matches – a disputed penalty in the opening-day draw at Sunderland.

The victory at Blackpool last season was also built on a committed rearguard effort.

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Eastwood knows that is the route they have to take again to continue their unbeaten start against a side the goalkeeper believes the U’s should be looking to match this season.

He said: “We’ll go there and look to defend well, that will be the first thing in order to get a positive result.

“To go to Blackpool is going to be tough, I think they will be up around the play-offs.

“We’re getting some tough games really early on, but we’re putting in performances and getting results.”

He added: “You can’t get carried away with what happens in the first ten games.

“The main thing is we don’t want a season like the last one, we want to be in the top half and pushing for a play-off position.”