Marcus McGuane confident Oxford United will click despite difficult week

·2-min read
Marcus McGuane is confident Oxford United will turn their form around Picture: David Fleming
Marcus McGuane is confident Oxford United will turn their form around Picture: David Fleming

MARCUS McGuane believes Oxford United have what it takes to turn their form around as they aim to avoid playing catch-up in Sky Bet League One.

The U’s are looking to bounce back from defeats to Bristol Rovers and Lincoln City when they take on Morecambe at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

Karl Robinson’s side made slow starts to the season in 2019 and 2020, but they recovered to reach the play-offs both times.

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The latter campaign was McGuane’s first with the club and the midfielder, then on loan from Nottingham Forest, helped United begin to climb the table before sustaining a thigh injury in January.

The 23-year-old has been here before and is backing the U's to do the same this season after losing three of their first four League One matches.

He said: “Besides last year I don’t think the starts have ever been great, so it’s something that maybe hangs over us a little bit.

“We know we can come out of it, like we have many times.

“We’ve definitely got the players, it’s just about clicking so hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.

“We don’t think about it (the start) as a group, maybe it’s in the back of our heads.

“We know what we’re capable of and I think it’s just about having that belief and carrying that positive energy.

“If you’re negative and get caught in the criticism then you’re not going to get any success at all.”

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The U’s only took five points from their first seven games in 2019/20, but an 11-match unbeaten run in League One soon put them in promotion contention.

United also lost three of their first four fixtures in 2020/21 and did not begin to produce play-off form until December, but they still snatched sixth place on the final day.

Last season was almost roles reversed, as ten points from their first five matches put United third in the table.

They were in and around the top six all season, only to finish eighth after winning two of their last eight games – although they still ended the campaign on 76 points.

Morecambe are yet to triumph in League One this term and will be equally desperate for a positive result this weekend.

With 42 matches remaining it is still very early days, but McGuane knows United must get back on track.

He said: “In football every game’s massive, but Saturday’s massive.

“We need those three points, there’s no ifs, buts or maybes.”