THE manner in which Oxford United lost at Ipswich Town on Boxing Day was an eye-opener for many.

A solid but unspectacular 10-game unbeaten run came crashing to an end in the 3-0 defeat at Portman Road, despite an encouraging opening half an hour.

While United didn’t carve out any clear chances, they went toe-to-toe with arguably the best side in the division.

However, after conceding twice at the end of the first half, Karl Robinson’s side put in a timid second half display.

The U’s never looked like getting back in the game, and that will have set off alarm bells for Robinson.

It unfortunately highlighted the gulf in class that currently exists between United and the best teams in the third tier.

Luckily it’s the festive season so the U’s have an immediate opportunity to put the result behind them and get three points on the board.

On paper, these two forthcoming home games against Charlton Athletic and Exeter City should yield six points.

That is if United are serious about pushing for a play-off place.

Their home form this season has been poor, and only an admirable away record has pulled them away from the relegation zone.

The final game of 2022 and first of 2023 should be a true indicator of where this season will go for the U’s.