SAM Long says his Oxford United teammates will keep pushing themselves as they seek to stay in the play-off places.

The 3-0 win at home to AFC Wimbledon in midweek ensured United ended 2021 in the top six.

Next up is a home game against Cheltenham Town this afternoon, with Long hoping the U’s can secure maximum points from the festive period.

He said: “We go into every game wanting to win. Especially with Boxing Day being called off, we knew these two home games would be massive for us, to stay in the mix and not drop off.

“We’re always pushing each other and we know in certain areas, we can be better and we’re our harshest critics.”

See also: Karl Robinson talks Herbie Kane and Oxford United’s win over Wimbledon

In recent weeks, the squad has shown its depth when regular starters were missing due to Covid or injury.

“We’ve got strength in depth, the lads that are on the fringes step in and do really well,” said Long.

“When we had Covid in the camp, we had a makeshift team and we applied ourselves really well.”

Long is also delighted that Herbie Kane will remain at the club until the end of the season, after United paid a fee to remove a break clause in his loan deal.

“He’s slotted in really well. When we don’t have him, we can struggle a bit in certain areas,” said Long.