JOHN Mousinho was encouraged by Oxford United’s resolve at Sixfields after admitting the squad had started looking over their shoulders for the first time this season.

A goalless draw at a struggling Northampton Town would not normally be a cause for celebration.

But with the U’s slipping down the Sky Bet League One table after a run of five defeats in six games, the point was welcome – particularly with new owner Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth watching from the stands.

It increased the side’s cushion over the relegation zone to six points, while keeping the Cobblers four points below them.

Another defeat would have left a very different picture and with Mousinho acknowledging the position had become a concern, the skipper was pleased to halt the slide.

He said: “The players aren’t daft, they look at the table.

“This was probably the first week in the season where we’ve looked over our shoulder, so from that point of view it was a better result than it looks in the paper.”

“This will go down as a nice confidence-booster and we can keep a clean sheet against a side who have picked up a lot.

“They’re dangerous – a big, intimidating side and we dealt with them.”

The clean sheet was only United’s second in 14 games.

Leaking soft goals has been the main issue in the poor run, with Mousinho among the defensive players who has been criticised for his form.

The centre back felt there were signs of a change in the mood with the way United’s players were clapped off despite losing 1-0 to Plymouth Argyle a week earlier.

And it continued on Saturday, when more than 1,400 travelling fans made themselves heard.

“I think we went a long way to doing it last week,” he said. “Losing at home and getting a positive reaction coming off the pitch was brilliant.

“I’ve not said anything about it publicly, but it doesn’t help when you’re getting pelters every week.

“I understand why they do it, but from my point of view it doesn’t help.

“In fairness to the away fans all season you can’t fault them.

“Fair play, they created a great atmosphere all game and hopefully they’ll be happy going home with a point and more importantly a performance that reflects what they want to see from their Oxford United team.”