The awkward form continues and the title is turning into a dogfight. Whilst Weymouth et al may harbour ambitions of the title; in reality the chances of them overhauling the 14 points that would be needed to overturn the top two are limited.

We should not beat ourselves up about this. Walsall have had a similar run of form to us in League 2 and have a 7 point lead. It’s Dagenham‘s quality, not our dip in form, that means the title is still so open. It’s true our form isn’t good but Dagenham themselves have hit a rough couple of games.

It looks like we’ll go to the turn of the season on top and there are reasons to be cheerful; we’ve played two more away games than we have home, Dagenham’s fixtures have worked out the other way around. We’ve played all but three of the top 10 away, and meet two of the other three before Valentine’s Day, and taken points from all but one. The Daggers are set to lose a couple of key players in the transfer window, which is set to put considerable strain on their already small squad. I maintain that March is the key month for the season.

Nobody would complain about an upturn in away form, which strengthens the argument for taking the Lewes game seriously. We might as well take the Trophy seriously; arrogantly fielding a weakened team misses the opportunity to rediscover our rhythm and there is no point in limping along from round to round until we meekly slip out. I think we need to go out to win the trophy, even if it isn’t our primary objective.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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