OXFORD United must rediscover their ruthless streak to avoid repeating last season’s slow start, says James Henry.

Karl Robinson’s men had the best of their clash at Gillingham, but it did not stop them from coming away with a 3-1 defeat.

Dan Agyei’s goal was all they had to show for long spells of dominance, which led to plenty of good chances.

But the hosts’ efficiency in front of goal, coupled with some last-ditch defending, meant they took the points.

It inflicted a third defeat on United in four Sky Bet League One games.

They had been determined to make a better fist of their opening matches than last term, but Henry admitted that could only happen with a swift upturn in results – starting at home to Crewe Alexandra tomorrow night.

He said: “We looked at wanting to have a better start than last season.

“I think after the first seven games we had five points, so we need to better that total.

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“We’ve got three games to do that.

“We’ll move on to Tuesday now and we have to take all three points.

“It’s our game in hand and we’ll see where we go from there.”

United were up against it after conceding twice in four first-half minutes.

But with Gillingham apparently content to preserve their advantage, the visitors were quick to seize the initiative.

They had forced several good openings before Agyei’s goal at the start of the second half gave hope of a comeback.

Henry said: “We went in at half-time and we weren’t even talking about drawing the game, we were talking about winning the game.

“We played well enough and created enough chances to win two or three games.

“But we weren’t good enough in both boxes and ultimately that’s what it comes down to.”

He added: “We kept playing the way we wanted to play.

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“If we can do that through the season I’m sure it will lead to good results.”

As with their previous two away games, United had to deal with some upheaval.

This time it was a switch in where they could change, with Robinson saying the hosts had moved them to makeshift facilities in the concourse of the main stand following an apparent spike in coronavirus cases.

Henry said: “It’s not ideal, but that’s just the world we live in.

“We’ve just got to move on and get on with it.

“I think everyone would rather do that and still be out on that pitch.”

“We’re not going to worry about having to do that.”