OXFORD City boss Mark Jones says the confidence in his side has returned after back-to-back wins.

The wait for a first Vanarama National League South victory of 2019 came to an end with a 1-0 success at Chippenham Town last Saturday.

And City followed this up with a 3-1 success against a youthful Oxford United side in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup on Tuesday.

Jones, whose side entertain Hampton & Richmond Borough tomorrow, said: “Confidence is such a hard thing to gain and an easy thing to lose.

“The only way you get confidence is by winning games of football.

“I was delighted with the effort that the lads put in at Chippenham.

“It wasn’t a fantastic game by any means, but we showed real determination and desire, and had that bit of good fortune when they missed a penalty.”

City’s morale-boosting win over United saw Jones field a number of youngsters.

“I had seen some positive signs the previous week, and I thought that we showed improvement in midweek too,” he said.

“I know things can change quickly, so we need to ensure we keep working hard.

“It was good to give some of my younger players a game – they acquitted themselves well against United – so there are definitely positive signs.”

Jones expressed his gratitude to United for allowing youngsters Owen James and Albie Hopkins to join them on youth loan deals until the end of the season.

Although they both played against City in midweek, the duo will both be back in Jones’s squad tomorrow.

“We’ve been trying to bring players in for a while, and it’s great to get loan deals for Owen and Albie over the line,” he said.

“We have a good relationship with the academy guys at Oxford, and Chris Allen recommended Owen and Albie to us, and they both played well when they came on last weekend.”

“It’s particularly important with the injuries to Zac McEachran and Ben Jefford that we freshened things up a bit and got a bit of competition for places back in the squad.”

Goalkeeper Craig King serves the second match of his suspension tomorrow, so Steven Caro will again deputise.

Reece Fleet is set to return after missing the last two games with bruised ribs.

Left-back Joel Dielna has agreed a further month’s loan from Hereford.

Jones added: “We’ve started March well.

“We couldn’t have had a worse February – so hopefully we can focus on the positives, take confidence from the last two games and keep up the good work.”


Oxford City (v Hampton & Richmond, home): from Caro, Jones, Moore-Azille, Dielna, Oastler, Ashby, Fleet, Wiltshire, Tshimanga, Thomas-Asante, Case, Self, Bawling.