OXFORD City boss Mark Jones insists his team will give it everything as they bid to reach the first round of the Emirates FA Cup for the third season in a row.

Margate travel to Court Place Farm tomorrow with the hosts desperate for a positive result to book their place in Monday’s draw.

City’s league form has seen them slump into the bottom three with just two league wins.

Their 1-0 defeat at home to Dartford last weekend was their seventh in 13 league games.

And although Jones is naturally concerned about their position in Vanarama National League South, he hopes that securing a place in the first round again will give his flagging side the boost they need.

He said: “We are in a position where we can forget about the league for a week.

“It’s a one-off cup game between two sides that are vying for the first round proper, and if that doesn’t inspire, nothing will.

“I think we can take some encouragement from the way we finished against Dartford, we definitely didn’t deserve to lose, but once again just didn’t take our chances.”

City’s precarious league position is similar to that of two seasons ago when Jones took his men into the first round and a famous win at Colchester, which kick-started their season.

And he is hoping that a repeat of that season can go a long way towards giving them the confidence to get out of trouble.

“We’re fully focused on the Cup – it would be a really good achievement to reach the first round again,” he said.

“There is no point dwelling on where we are in the league, but this does remind me of a couple of seasons ago.

“The similarities are striking – we weren’t picking up points – and we managed to get into the first round – beat Colchester and that pushed us on.”

Jones accepts, however, that the recent run is putting him and his team under increased pressure.

He said: “We’re at a time of year where club directors start to get a bit twitchy.

“We’re under pressure, there’s no doubt about that, but I believe in this group of players and I really don’t think we’re a million miles away.

“I’d be more concerned if we were getting battered every week, but it’s fine margins. If we can get one of two things going our way, the confidence will be back.”

Jones believes Margate, who ply their trade in the Isthmian League Premier Division, will fancy their chances at Court Place Farm, which should make for an open game.

New signing Elliot Benyon is cup-tied, but other than that, Jones names an unchanged squad.

Oxford City (v Margate, home): from King, Jones, Jefford, Ashby, Oastler, Fleet, Brown, Moore-Azille, McEachran, Owusu, Self, Wiltshire, Tapp, Wright, Benyon, Beckles-Richards, Fasanmade.