OXFORD United hold the psychological advantage going into the final day of the Sky Bet League One season, says Gary Bloom.

The U’s fate is out of their hands, as even a win would see them miss out on the play-offs if Portsmouth beat Accrington Stanley.

Seventh-placed United must also equal or better Charlton Athletic’s result, with the sides level on points ahead of tomorrow's matches.

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But U’s club psychotherapist Bloom believes Karl Robinson’s side could benefit from a theory in sports psychology that focuses on two mindsets: ‘challenger’ and ‘threat’.

He said: “The threat mindset is if you’re leading a race and looking over your shoulder.

“The challenger mindset is if you’re second or third and closing the distance.

“The psychological pressure always comes with those with the threat mindset and that’s why teams choke.

“I think the advantage is with Charlton and Oxford.”

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A play-off place is not the only prize this weekend, with the teams fighting for a chance to perform in front of supporters again this season.

The semi-finals are in the week of May 17, when grounds are allowed up to 10,000 fans or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is lower.

Bloom reckons this will be a source of motivation, but there may be one benefit to tomorrow’s game being behind closed doors.

He said: “The play-offs contain the desire for players to reconnect with the fans.

“We’ve had a whole season of this, so in some respects the nervousness shouldn’t be there.

“I think there would be more pressure if we had the crowd keeping up with the results elsewhere.”