GAVIN Whyte is hoping the Emirates FA Cup will be an opportunity for Oxford United to get over the “shock” of their league slump.

Karl Robinson’s side head into the third round tie at Sky Bet Championship side Brentford as the underdogs.

The odds have lengthened further in the past week, where three successive League One defeats have changed the mood at United.

They have slipped back into the relegation zone, which has come as a blow for a squad who were looking up before Christmas.

Whyte is keen to put that to one side and sees the change of scene as a chance to clear the air.

He said: “We were on such a good run and the games we probably needed to win the most, we haven’t.

“It’s been a shock for us, but with the squad we have I think we’ll be alright.

“We just need to go into the game with the shackles off and play with freedom.

“It’s a good game for us and has come at a good time. We’ve really got nothing to lose and we should just go for it.

“You never know what can happen, hopefully come 5pm we’ll be alright.

“If we get the win it will give us a load of confidence going into the next run of games. I think that’s massive for us.”

The packed schedule has been a steep learning curve for Whyte, who has missed just one United game since October – and that was down to an international call-up.

While he suffered a dead leg in the 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle, the winger is ready to go again at Griffin Park.

He said: “I think I’ll be alright for Saturday. I have to be, I want to play every game.

“This is all new to me, I haven’t played this much before over Christmas. I’ll still give everything.”