OXFORD United must not lose heart in the wake of the defeat to Sunderland, says Elliott Moore.

A second-minute header from Jordan Willis proved decisive at the Kassam Stadium, where the hosts came away empty-handed despite an encouraging display.

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Particularly in the second half the U’s had Sunderland on the ropes at times, but could not land a knockout blow.

Moore is adamant if they keep playing like that, the wins will come – starting tomorrow against AFC Wimbledon.

He said: “One set piece has done us, but other than that they didn’t really create a lot.

“I think we created a lot more chances and it just didn’t fall for us.”

He added: “The most important thing is the encouraging signs that we’ve put in a performance like that.

“Hopefully we start turning that into points now, because we need that.”

Moore was brought into the side as United started with a back three for the first time this season.

It was deployed as a consequence of the players ruled out through injury and suspension, but from a defensive point of view largely succeeded in limiting Sunderland’s chances.

Moore, who played in a back three during his time in Belgium, said: “It was a massive improvement in our shape and I feel we coped with it well.

“Whether we stick with that or not we’ll see on Tuesday, but I think it worked.”

There were concerns beforehand that Storm Dennis could force the game to be abandoned, but the conditions were not as bad as forecast.

Moore said: “It felt like a normal game once we got into it and settled down. I feel like we played very well and the conditions didn’t really affect that.”