Oxford United’s Johnny Mullins hopes to avoid a repeat of relegation heartache with Mansfield Town

The One Call Stadium, home of Mansfield Town FC.
The One Call Stadium, home of Mansfield Town FC.

Oxford United defender Johnny Mullins says he does not want to suffer a repeat of the relegation heartache he suffered with Mansfield Town.

Mullins was part of Stags side relegated from the Football League in 2008 and is currently battling hard to keep his current club in League Two.

Struggling Oxford, who were beaten 2-0 by Burton in their last game, have won just two in 10 and sit four points above the drop zone.

But Mullins, who was voted Stags player of the year in 2008, believes Oxford are more than good enough to stay up.

“Getting relegated is an awful feeling, I remember it well at Mansfield and I don’t want that to happen again,” he said.

“Confidece is still good in the camp, we are not playing badly, we just need to get some results and points together.

“We have not been able to go on a run of five or six unbeaten for a long time and that is what we need to do.

“We have got 15 games left now and it is that cliche of taking one game at a time.

“We have set ourselves points targets for each game and we know we are good enough to get the points we need.

“But it’s no good talking about things, we need to go out there and get the results.

And Mullins, who played 83 times for Mansfield, knows that a win against his former employers can act as a much-needed springboard to safety.

“The result was not what we wanted against Burton and it is important we go out on Saturday and get the three points,” he said.

That is not going to be easy against a team that have had a good result in midweek.

“Things are very tight at the bottom and two wins can make things very different. We are looking upwards and staying positive.

“Football is often decided by fine margins and our result could have been very different against Burton if we had managed to get the first goal.

“It is important that we do that on Saturday and shape the game in our favour.

“I enjoyed my time at Mansfield, it is a good football club with good people and I am glad to see them back in the Football League where they belong. I hope that we can both stay up this season.”

Mansfeld beat Oxford earlier this season 2-1 at Field Mill as they look to complete a league double.