SIMON Eastwood has urged Oxford United to make the most of their next two matches to avoid getting dragged into a repeat of last season.

A return of just one point from the last five Sky Bet League One games has seen the U’s slide down the table.

And Karl Robinson’s men have only a marginally better record than at the same point 12 months ago.

Back then the slump continued into October and even with an upturn in form, it took United six months to break free of the relegation battle.

Witney Gazette:

Eastwood is well aware of the comparisons to last term.

But the goalkeeper believes Saturday’s home game against Tranmere Rovers, who are only above the U’s on goal difference, and a trip to rock bottom Bolton Wanderers three days later offer a big opportunity.

He said: “We’re around the bottom again, as we were last season.

“You just hope we’re not going to be there all season again and it’s not going to be a season like that.

“Things have got to change for that not to happen.

“The manager drills us every day with what he wants, it’s just individual errors at the moment costing us.

Also read: Oxford United given break to recharge after tough start

“Sometimes you do that and it doesn’t cost you.

“But it seems like every error at the moment the ball is going in the back of the net.”

He added: “We’ve got to look forward now.

“It’s a disappointing start, but the next couple of games are big for us and hopefully we can put it right and push our way up the table.”

The frustration is added by the fact unlike last season, when it took them five matches to get off the mark, United had got away to a good start.

After drawing at Sunderland on the opening day and beating Peterborough United at home they were among the leading pack.

But Eastwood said: “You can never get carried away.

“We had a great start with the first two games, but football can change quickly and the next thing you know you’re at the wrong end of the table.

“It’s up to us to put it right.”

The players are back in today after being given time off to recover from a hectic start.

United’s No 1 said: “The gaffer gave us some days off last season and it turned our fortunes round.

“Maybe that’s what we need again.”