SAM Long believes Oxford United must stand up and be counted as they aim to climb away from relegation trouble.

The U’s host high-flying Ipswich Town tonight, looking to bounce back from Saturday’s derby loss to Swindon Town.

That result saw United leapfrogged by their rivals, with only goal difference separating Karl Robinson’s side from the Sky Bet League One drop zone.

While the season is only 13 games old, Long feels it is about time the U’s found some consistency as they enter a busy period.

“It’s a massive game,” the right back said.

“We know if we don’t start putting points on the board, winning games and putting good performances in we’re going to be in a sticky situation.

“The games are coming thick and fast.

“If we don’t turn negative results into positive outcomes we’ll find ourselves losing three or four games in a row because we’ve not reacted well to the result at the weekend.”

United are in the middle of a tough run of games, with tonight’s match followed by the visit of league leaders Hull City on Saturday.

Robinson’s men have been unable to find the form that saw them reach last season’s play-off final and are yet to keep a clean sheet in the third tier in 2020/21.

Those problems were laid bare in the second half against Swindon, but Long feels United have the ability to drag themselves away from danger.

The 25-year-old said: “We’re in there because we’ve not been good enough to see games out and get the result in the end.

“It’s not a false position, the table doesn’t lie.

“We’re a hardworking bunch and we know if we keep doing the right things we’ll start stringing results together.

“That’s what we need to do as soon as possible.”

Despite their travails, Long insists United – who welcome Sean Clare back from suspension tonight – are confident they can turn the tide.

He said: “You have to believe you’re good enough to win a game and if you haven’t got that you’re struggling.

“We believe in ourselves and we’ve just got a few little things wrong on Saturday that we’ll be working to put right.”