MARK Jones is calling on Oxford City to build on their improved midweek performance when they travel to East Thurrock United tomorrow.

Home defeats to Hampton & Richmond Borough and Woking mean the side have still only recorded one win in Vanarama National League South in 2019.

Boss Jones was disappointed with City’s display in a 5-3 loss last Saturday.

But, despite conceding an injury-time goal in a 2-1 defeat to new leaders Woking on Tuesday, he was left enthused by the way his side tested the high-fliers.

Jones said: “We were well below par against Hampton – we just didn’t do enough and defensively we just weren’t switched on at all.

“We were quite passive in our performance.

“I asked for, and got, a very good reaction against an excellent Woking side on Tuesday.

“The boys’ effort and work-rate was very good and I felt it was a very tight game with nothing to choose between the two sides.

“It was a bit galling to lose in the dying seconds of the game – we were very unfortunate.”

City, who will be without long-term injury victims Zac McEachran and Ben Jefford tomorrow, sit 13th.

With eight games remaining, Jones’s side are still chasing a top-half finish, but he knows his players will have their work cut out tomorrow.

“East Thurrock are battling away at the bottom and so because of that, it’s going to be a very difficult game,” he said.

“The forecast isn’t great and I think we need to ensure that our attitudes are spot on, as they were on Tuesday.

“We know we need to battle, work hard and stay patient to break them down, before we think about starting to try to play wonderful football.

“We must get the basics right.”

Bobson Bawling (knee) is a doubt.


Oxford City (v East Thurrock Utd, away): from King, Jones, Moore-Azille, Dielna, Oastler, Ashby, Fleet, Wiltshire, Tshimanga, Thomas-Asante, Case, Self, Bawling, Caro.