JOHN Mousinho believes Oxford United's experienced players have a role to play to contain the damage from the embarrassing defeat to Wigan Athletic.

Pep Clotet's side crashed to a 7-0 hammering, the club's joint worst league result.

While the back four, including Mousinho, were all over 30, there were others for whom this would have been comfortably the heaviest loss of their career.

Skipper Mousinho acknowledged many of the costly mistakes came from the older heads, but knows the key is to find a way to move on quickly.

United can ill-afford a hangover, with a trip to Gillingham next up on Boxing Day.

Mousinho said: "We have got some good young players - it’s a big learning curve for them and maybe it’s not helping them that the senior players are also making mistakes.

"Look at the back five with Easty (goalkeeper Simon Eastwood) and it’s vastly experienced – maybe that’s affecting everyone when one of the senior players makes a mistake it can be quite difficult.

"Age is irrelevant really – if you’re losing games 7-0 whether you’re 19 or 33 it’s obviously not good enough.

"For some of them it will be the first time they’ve taken a hammering like this, but for the older heads inevitably it happens a couple of times in your career.

"The only thing we can do is make sure we use our experience to help the young lads and make sure they don’t take this as a terminal loss."

Mousinho believes having another game so quickly is a benefit, but admitted everyone will be stewing over the next two days.

He said: "It won’t be nice to sit there and think about it on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but that’s the reality of it.

"Maybe that will help, because you want a positive result going into Christmas to enjoy yourself.

"No-one will be enjoying Christmas, there will always be that nagging doubt in the back of your mind that we’ve let ourselves down.

"We need to get on with it and make sure we bounce back on Tuesday."