JORDAN Graham expects Oxford United to relish the big-match atmosphere when Sunderland visit tomorrow.

The fixture will see the biggest league crowd at the Kassam Stadium for more than two years, with sales closing in on the club’s 10,000-strong target.

It will see a clash between sides who need the points for very different reasons.

While the visitors need to keep the hammer down in the promotion race, the U’s are in the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

But Karl Robinson’s side have beaten Portsmouth and drawn with Barnsley in their last two home games and Graham believes another title contender will bring the best out of them.

He said: “It shouldn’t be like that in football, but you tend to raise your game against the top teams.

Read again - Oxford United closing in on 10,000-strong crowd

“Especially an occasion like Saturday, it’s massive for everyone.

“I imagine you’ll get the best Oxford United you’ll see for the whole season.

“Like the Portsmouth game a couple of weeks ago, we did exactly the game plan and made them look quite poor I felt.

“I think we play better against bigger teams because we raise our game and we have a clear game plan.

“Whereas when you play some of the lower league teams it can be anything – long balls, this and that.

“So as long as we stick to what the gaffer tells us to do and give 100 per cent effort I think we can beat them.

“We’ve found their weaknesses and we just have to exploit them.”

Read again - Karl Robinson happy with "edginess" at Oxford United ahead of Sunderland clash

If United are to upset the odds tomorrow, Graham will be one of the players they will look to for a piece of magic.

The on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers winger has been getting stronger since joining last month.

Now the 23-year-old is aiming to open his goalscoring account – and has been watching the very best for inspiration.

“I feel like I’m getting closer,” he said.

“I had a free-kick against Burton where if it was a couple of inches higher I’m sure it was in.”

“I’m watching clips of the best players – (Raheem) Sterling, (Mo) Salah – and seeing the runs they make. I think if I can get myself in the right places they will come.

“Hopefully once I get one, they should be free-flowing.”

  • JONTE Smith scored on his first Oxford United appearance since signing in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

The striker played 90 minutes in the 3-2 victory against Crawley Town, netting a penalty.

Kyran Lofthouse added a brace.