Michael Raynes goes back to his former club tomorrow, determined to play with a smile despite Oxford United ’s poor run of form.
The U’s have lost five consecutive npower League Two matches, and head to Rotherham with a fierce determination to stop the rot.
Raynes left the Yorkshire side in the summer to join Chris Wilder ’s side, and says that there is no added pressure on the U’s because of their recent results.
“I know we are on a bad run, but this isn’t pressure,” he said.
“Going to Afghanistan and dodging bullets is pressure.
“My dad has always told me that if you play with a smile on your face you will be a better footballer.
“I think if we go there, play our game and enjoy the football things will turn.”
Raynes has been part of a United defence which has let in 15 goals in their last five league games, and would give anything to put that right on Saturday.
“I would absolutely kill for a clean sheet – and a goal as well,” he said.
“I’m desperate for that and if I get both, Christmas will have come early for me.”
He added: “It’s about doing the positive things, keeping upbeat.
“We are not getting the luck at the moment, but every team goes through that at some stage.
“But we are positive we can get a result there and that it can be the start of our unbelievable run.
“I went through a similar spell at Rotherham last season when we were flying and then went through a run like this.
“It’s just a case of keeping your head down and turning it around.”
Raynes thinks the game is a good one for Oxford, with the expectatation levels low after their poor run.
“No-one expects us to do anything (on Saturday),” he said.
“We’re on a bad run, they have spent all this money and have some great players there, but if you look at the talent in our dressing room it’s ridiculous. We shouldn’t be losing games like we have.”
“It will be nice to see some former faces, but the most important thing is for us to get three points.
“I don’t know what reception I’ll get. It’s hit and miss, but I don’t tend to get a good reception wherever I go so it won’t be a surprise if I don’t (get a good one)!”