Oxford boss Karl Robinson is refusing to panic after his side’s 1-1 draw with Gillingham stretched their winless run to four league games.
Tariqe Fosu’s superb curling shot put Oxford ahead after 16 minutes but the Gills slowly gained a foothold after a slow start and equalised when Olly Lee converted a second-half penalty.
Oxford, who drew at home to Ipswich on Tuesday having lost their previous two matches, stay fifth in the table but they are now six points off the automatic promotion places and only in the play-offs on goal difference.
“What can I have a go at my players for today?” Robinson said.
“I didn’t have anybody who came off the pitch today below a seven out of 10. We had five players who probably would have started here had they been available.
“We looked full of energy, we looked extremely fit. For us to play on Tuesday on the worst pitch ever and then put that performance in today is testament to the players and our medical team.
“I thought we were the better team. We had the better chances. We were the ones pushing towards the end.
“You’re always going to be under pressure when you come to Gillingham; no matter where you are on the pitch the next ball is going in your box.
“I thought we stuck to the game plan. A point at Gillingham is better than we got last year – I think I’ve only ever lost here as a manager so I leave here in a better frame of mind than before!”
Oxford can now prepare for a FA Cup fourth-round tie at Premier League side Newcastle next Saturday, while Gillingham head to Rochdale in the league.
Steve Evans’ side will travel to Spotland in search of a ninth game unbeaten, although they have drawn their last three.
Despite being 14th in the table, the Kent side are just six points off Oxford and the play-off places and Evans hailed his side for fighting back against the U’s.
“We saw two types of performance today. We seemed a yard off the pace, didn’t show composure and we stood off them in the first half,” he said.
“Saying that, they have to score a spectacular goal to take the lead. We know that when that boy [Fosu] is in that position he’s a handful.
“We had to lift the dressing room at half-time, we had to be strong and vocal with them. By the end of the game we were full of praise.
“Oxford are a tough team to play against. When you play any of Karl’s sides you have to go to war against them.
“If we’d have played for 95 minutes like we played in the second half we beat Oxford United today. But taking the game in totality I think a point shared is fair on both teams.”