MARK Sykes says Oxford United have every right to feel confident of causing an upset at Queens Park Rangers tonight.

The U’s travel to Loftus Road in the second round of the Carabao Cup (7.45pm), for a tie that evokes memories of the 1986 Milk Cup final.

Both teams were in the top division when United beat QPR at Wembley 35 years ago, whereas now the visitors are tenth in Sky Bet League One and their opponents fifth in the Sky Bet Championship.

The U’s enjoyed relative success in the competition two years ago, beating higher-division Millwall and West Ham United before running Premier League champions Manchester City close in the quarter-finals.

Sykes played in those games and says the experiences, plus the quality in the United squad, is cause for optimism.

The midfielder said: “At the end of the day it’s a game of football, it’s not as if you’re going into a war.

“There’s going to be good teams who create chances, but we don’t fear anyone.

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“We’re good enough to deal with a lot of what teams throw at us.

“It goes to show over the last couple of years when the big clubs have come to the Kassam and we’ve held our own.”

QPR are unbeaten this season, while United suffered their first defeat on Saturday at Bolton Wanderers.

The U’s are looking to bounce back and Sykes is not underestimating the value of a win tonight.

The 24-year-old said: “It’s alright looking at the league as our priority, but you want to win as many games as possible.

“Going to a team above you and taking a scalp does you no harm, especially going forward.

“Winning breeds winning and we want to win as many games as we can.

“Nothing happy ever comes out of a loss, so we’ll be all guns blazing.”

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Karl Robinson made eight changes for the first-round victory at Burton Albion and is expected to make more tonight.

Sykes knows it is a chance to impress, having starred in the cup competitions before.

It is also an opportunity for United to see what it takes to compete in the Championship, having reached the League One play-offs in the last two seasons.

Sykes said: “If you’re not playing, maybe this is the game where you get your chance.

“I’ve been in the situation where I haven’t been playing in the league, I’ve got a chance in the cup and taken it.

“I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to play, it’s a massive game to find out where we’re at in terms of Championship level.”