OXFORD United’s goalscoring problems would not be solved by playing two strikers, boss Karl Robinson has argued.

A lack of ruthlessness in the final third has been a common complaint for the head coach this season and it has proved costly in the last week.

While eight clubs in Sky Bet League One have scored fewer times than the U’s this season, six goals is the joint lowest in the division over the last eight games.

It includes blanks in the last two matches against relegation rivals.

Tuesday’s goalless draw at Rochdale came on the back of a 1-0 defeat away to Gillingham, which has put the side back into the bottom four.

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It has prompted a call from some supporters to try two men through the middle, but that is unlikely when Bradford City visit tomorrow.

Robinson said: “Most of the season we’ve gone with three up front, with Browney (Marcus Browne), Jamie (Mackie) and Gavin Whyte.

“Every time we’ve gone to two up front we’ve looked very limited.

“Unless you get people between the lines in the modern day game you don’t dominate it.

“If you look at the teams at the top of the league, Portsmouth have one up front, Sunderland have one up with one in behind, Luton play two but they have a diamond in midfield – they’ve been able for four years to recruit a team to play the system they want.

“It’s not about how many you put up front, because (at Gillingham) we had more shots and more opportunities to score than the opposition, we just need to take them.

“It’s that simple, let’s stop looking for reasons why, we just don’t take our opportunities when they come along. We have to be more ruthless in the box.”

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Jamie Mackie was the central striker at Rochdale and the former QPR and Nottingham Forest front man believes there is a danger in over-analysing the issue.

He said: “My message would be to not do that and just play on your game and rely on the things you know.

“Take the instructions on board from the staff and believe in it.

“In the final third particularly it’s about your own quality coming through – if you’re playing within yourself then you’ll never be able to express yourself.

“We’re not given restrictions in the final third, so the freer we can be the more chances we’ll create and we will win football matches.”

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The closest player to scoring on Tuesday night was a defender, with Curtis Nelson’s header turned on to the crossbar.

And with the back four contributing one goal since Christmas, the centre back knows the burden is on everyone with United’s League One status on the line.

He said: “We’re overdue a goal, definitely.

“It’s a case of everyone having to chip in during the last nine games.”