KARL Robinson knows there is no point playing down the significance of this week for Oxford United.

Just when the U’s Sky Bet League One play-off challenge appeared to have faded, Saturday’s 6-0 thumping of Crewe Alexandra raised hopes of a late promotion bid.

Ninth-placed United have virtually no margin for error, with the gap to the top six still four points and all-but one of their direct rivals boasting at least one game in hand.

Two of their final six matches are against tonight’s opponents Shrewsbury Town, whose Emirates FA Cup run saw this visit to the Kassam Stadium postponed from January 9.

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Robinson’s side are back at home for the visit of Gillingham on Saturday and the U’s head coach is all too aware the Crewe result cannot be a one-off.

He said: “It’s a really important week.

“If we find ourselves still connected to that top six by the end of these two games it’ll be a really exciting end to the season.

“For us to even be talking about it with six games to go after the start that we had just shows how far we’ve come and we’ve got over what happened last season.

“We’re still tired, but mentally that (Crewe) result will lift us short term.

“We’ve got to perform to the best of our ability again.

“We have to play better in the remaining games if we want to be in the pack.

“There were certain aspects of the game on Saturday that we know could be better.”

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United split their final ten matches of the campaign into two five-game blocks, with tonight’s clash rounding off the first batch.

Although they lost to Sunderland and Accrington Stanley, the wins over Lincoln City and Crewe mean the U’s will achieve their goal of nine points for this set of fixtures if they beat 17th-placed Shrewsbury.

Robinson added: “It would be positive, because it’s what we’ve asked of them for this block and then we’d have to take stock for the next one.

“There’s no talk about anything other than that.

“Planning too far ahead can allow you to stumble in the here and now.

“That’s the result that matters.”

To reach the play-offs, United could have to match their seven-game winning run in League One at the turn of the year, which was part of their record-breaking nine-match victory streak in all competitions.

Since then, inconsistency has prevented the U’s from breaking into the top six.

Sam Long: Oxford United and I share same ambition

They returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion at The Alexandra Stadium and Sam Long insists United believe that triumph can be just the start.

The right back said: “After the Accrington game I said we had seven cup finals left, now we’ve got six.

“We know we’re more than capable of going on another run, so we’re quietly confident that we can do that.

“We know that winning 6-0 doesn’t automatically guarantee you win the next game, so we can’t rest on our laurels.

“We have to make sure we’re just as on it as we were on Saturday.

“Every game’s tough in this league and if we don’t turn up we’ll end up losing and we’ll only have ourselves to blame.”