OXFORD United need to rediscover the belief they lost last weekend to get off the mark at Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

That is the view of Sam Long, who is the only member of the squad to start every game so far this season.

It has been a long week for the players since the 2-0 home defeat against Sunderland, which left Karl Robinson’s men still waiting for their first point of the Sky Bet League One campaign.

For Long, getting off the mark at Accrington is vital.

“It’s very important,” he said.

“We haven’t had a great start with two defeats, but we’re working so hard to put things right.

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“We need to put those two games to bed now because we can’t do anything about it.

“I think a bit of belief left us on Saturday and I think we could have done better.

“Hopefully on Saturday we can come out of the blocks and put things right.”

A lengthy injury list has not helped United – and Long is among those doubtful for the game.

Having dealt with a cold, which came back as negative for coronavirus, just before the Sunderland game, the 25-year-old is now struggling with a hip issue.

Given the U’s lack of defensive resources already, it would be a blow if Long was ruled out.

His versatility has seen him play all the way along the back four in the opening three weeks of the season, which has suited him just fine.

He said: “I’ve been in and out quite a lot in the last few years.

“That’s always been my goal, to play as much as possible.

“This year I think I’ve put in some good performances. Every week I try as hard as I can to keep that shirt.”

Staying in the team is all about constant improvement and Long has been grafting hard over the past year on the attacking side of his game.

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With Robinson demanding a lot from his full backs, the former youth team skipper knows he must deliver.

“Last year me and Cadds (Chris Cadden) spent a lot of time after training on that,” he said.

“I feel like that side of the game has improved over the last 12 months and I’ll keep working on it.

“The way we play, the full backs are really important, which is why I needed to improve in that area.

“Ten years ago everyone was 4-4-2 and the full backs stayed where they were.

“Now it’s expansive and the full backs get high up the pitch.”

If Long is fit to play tomorrow it will be his 90th appearance for the U’s, on the ground he made his senior debut for the club in April 2013.

He said: “It’s one of those places where I look back and think ‘this is where it all started’.

“But every week you have a job to do and you just think about that.

“Getting the three points on a Saturday is what we’re there to do.”