OXFORD United’s record against the top half of Sky Bet League One has been a stick to beat them with over the last two seasons.

It is only logical that you will do better against the worst teams in the division, but the U’s took that to extremes in 2020/21 – just four of their 22 victories came against sides who finished 12th or higher.

They have improved slightly this season, gaining two wins and four draws from eight matches against the current top half.

The way you view that probably depends on whether you are a glass half full or glass half empty person.

There are some hard-fought draws in there against Ipswich Town, Rotherham United and Sunderland, games where United had their backs against the wall.

But the U's have had far more joy against the bottom half, taking 26 points from 12 matches.

It is far from a disaster and United are on course to easily beat last year’s total of 74 points, which was an unusually high benchmark for the play-offs.

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That shows you do not need a good record against the best sides to challenge for promotion, but it can serve you well.

Last season, Blackpool took 21 points against the rest of the top six and breezed through the play-offs – as United found out to their cost.

In the next fortnight, the U's face seventh-placed MK Dons, Wigan Athletic, in second, and Portsmouth (ninth, but eight games unbeaten in the league).

It is a great chance to underline their promotion credentials against sides who will all finish comfortably in the top half, at the very least.

This season, the U’s have shown they can start well and grind out results, two things they have lacked in recent years.

The next challenge is to pick up regular wins over their promotion rivals.