RECENTLY, there has been a lot of talk about whether Oxford United are under – or over – achieving.

On the face of it, if the U’s do not reach the Sky Bet League One play-offs this season, having finished in the top six two years in a row, it is a step backwards.

But context is important.

The first, and most obvious point is the strength of League One’s top half, which will probably mean at least one team with nearly 80 points misses out on the play-offs.

READ MORE: Elliott Moore honest about defensive woes and injury frustration

Do not forget last season, when United’s tally of 74 was itself unusually high.

If the U’s improve on that, which requires two wins from their last four games, they will have gained more points in a harder division.

The caveat is their record against League One's top sides, which is almost exactly as it was this time last year.

In terms of budget, I understand United are roughly where they should be in the table.

There are teams below them who have clearly underachieved given their resources, while some of those above the U's will be doing better than expected.

This obviously has an impact on the squad, which has the best attacking depth in Karl Robinson’s time at the club, although you cannot say the same for the defence.

That must improve next season, whatever happens in the next four games.

READ MORE: The League One fixtures to look out for this weekend

United have been in the top six for most of 2021/22, so the frustration after the last three defeats is understandable.

They will be expected to challenge again next season if they are still in League One, regardless of the strength of the division.

Because of that, I do not believe a play-off finish this season would be overachieving, even though the U's are battling it out with historically bigger clubs.

But it feels harsh to say United would be underachieving if they end up north of 70 points and still miss out.