OXFORD City boss Mark Jones believes his side will raise their game when they travel to leaders Torquay United in Vanarama National League South tomorrow.

City’s play-off hopes have hit the buffers in recent weeks, and they are still looking for their first win of 2019.

But Jones says a trip to Devon against the table-toppers means they can express themselves with no fear.

“We haven’t been playing badly, and are not shipping loads of goals, we’re losing by the odd goal here and there,” he said.

“I think we can take heart that we perform better generally against the better sides in this league – we often raise our game.”

City beat Torquay at home earlier in the season, and Jones says a trip to Plainmoor should not be relished, despite their rivals’ lofty position.

“They’ve been on an excellent run, but we definitely don’t need to fear them,” he said.

“They are beatable – they lost at Bath last week – and so they will be under pressure to bounce back from that.”

City are waiting to hear whether their appeal against Ryan Case’s red card in last week’s 1-0 defeat at home to Gloucester City has been successful.

The former Bath defender was sent off for handball on the line, but video replays suggested the ball hit his thigh.

The club lodged an objection earlier this week, but are sweating on the outcome.

Udoka Godwin-Malife’s move to Forest Green Rovers and Ben Jefford’s ankle injury leaves City short defensively.

And if Case’s red card is not rescinded, they may be forced into brining in a loan signing before the Torquay match.

“It was a difficult one to call at the time, but looking at the replays, I’d be hopeful that it might be overturned,” Jones said.

“It’s a bit frustrating that the panel don’t hear the case until Friday, as that doesn’t give me a lot of time to make other plans if the appeal fails.

“I have to say, I’m not one to blame officials for poor results, but I don’t think we’ve had the rub of the green recently with some decisions that have gone against us.

“You’d like to think that our luck will change.”

Oxford City (v Torquay Utd, away): from King, Jones, Wiltshire, Carter, Ashby, Case, Oastler, Self, Fasanmade, Fleet, Tshimanga, Barrett, Bawling, Otudeko, Grantham, O’Donoghue, McEachran.