THERE is a school of thought that the Kassam Stadium is anything but a fortress for Oxford United.

It even caught out skipper John Mousinho when he was looking ahead to tomorrow’s first home game of the season, against Peterborough United.

“Any side which has success at any level wins their home games,” he said.

“We haven’t done that over the last couple of years.

“Certainly since I’ve been here home games haven’t been our strongest point and we’ve struggled at times.”

That has been true on many occasions in recent years, but for the moment 2019 should not be lumped in with the mediocrity.

Since the turn of the year, the U’s have won half their matches at the Kassam, including promotion-chasing Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic.

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Barnsley, Sunderland and Doncaster, who also finished in the top six, could only take a point.

In fact, Peterborough are the only away team to win at United this year – some turnaround for a side who lost five of their first six league games last season.

“Maybe I’m being a bit unfair,” Mousinho acknowledged.

“After having two disappointing losses over Christmas, we came back strongly at home.

“That’s something to take into this season and progress.”

While it is more than three months since United’s final home game of the last campaign, they come into the Posh clash feeling good after an opening-day draw at Sunderland.

Like the Black Cats, Darren Ferguson’s men are tipped to feature in the promotion reckoning, but Mousinho is unfazed by the prospect.

He said: “People look at Sunderland away on the first day and think ‘tough start’.

“But what’s a good time to play any of these sides? Who knows if it’s a good time to play Peterborough?

“They’ve just been done 3-1 at home by Fleetwood, so people might say ‘great opportunity’, others will say they’re like a wounded animal.

“We can over-analyse the opposition every week, but as long as we get our own game right I think we’ll be fine.”

He added: “Sunderland will definitely be up there and I think if we can really get our heads around the fact that we’ve gone there, competed and probably should have won then it sets us up really nicely for the season.”

Mousinho played his part in a strong defensive display last weekend.

While his best moments in the previous campaign all came in midfield, the 33-year-old partnered Rob Dickie at centre half.

The signing of Elliott Moore from Leicester City means there can be little margin for error, which Mousinho relishes.

He said: “Competition is a really important part of any squad.

“It definitely keeps you on your toes and pushes you to perform better.

"That’s a really important part of any squad, especially ours.

“Now we do have a few more bodies in the door I think the competition is going to increase exponentially.

“It’s going to be a real battle to get into the side this year and I think that alone really makes for a great environment to play football.”