SIMON Eastwood has urged Oxford United to keep their foot on the accelerator as they look to build on their pre-Christmas momentum at struggling Rochdale.

A run of one win in nine games in all competitions in October and November had threatened to undermine an encouraging start to the season.

But back-to-back successes, most recently with their stoppage-time winner from Josh Ruffels against Doncaster Rovers a week ago, have lightened the mood.

Eastwood is not satisfied, though, and is determined to help extend the run at Spotland, which would keep United in sight of the Sky Bet League One play-offs heading into the packed festive schedule.

The goalkeeper said: “I wouldn’t say we’ve turned the corner yet.

“We’ve had two decent wins and I think you make your own luck in football.

“Last Saturday’s game with Ruffs’ goal right at the end came because we’ve kept going. We’ll keep trying to get wins to keep up with the top of the table.

“We’ve had a good little run recently, but we don’t just want little runs. You want to keep it going like (at times) last season.

“Even if we don’t win games, especially away, if we can go to places and pick up points then I think we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

“I know we’ve had a lot of injuries, but I believe we’ve got a squad that can be really pushing for the play-offs.”

While Dale have not lost at home for more than two months, only goal difference is keeping Keith Hill’s side out of the bottom four.

And Eastwood knows in that situation, confidence is likely to be fragile.

He said: “I think it might be, because the league table doesn’t lie.

“They are at home so the pressure is on them to get a result to get out of the situation they’re in.

“I think it will be an interesting game.”

United have no fresh injury concerns, so could name the same line-up which began the victory against Doncaster.

Rochdale, who have played at home in the league just once in eight weeks, are expected to be without key centre half Keith Keane (groin). But left back Joe Bunney is available again after suspension.


Rochdale: from Lillis, Rafferty, McGahey, McNulty, Bunney, Rathbone, Henderson, Camps, Williams, Andrew, Done, Gillam, Davies, Slew, Inman, Cannon, Ntlhe, Moore.

Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Tiendalli, Williamson, Mousinho, Ricardinho, Xemi, Ruffels, Henry, Payne, Mowatt, Thomas, Obika, Van Kessel, Napa, Rothwell, Ledson, Martin, Carroll, Shearer.