JAKE Wright has launched a rallying call for everyone connected with Oxford United to help capitalise on their position in the Sky Bet League Two promotion race.

A 3-0 defeat at Rochdale last weekend saw the U’s slip five points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

It extended a hiccup in form to one point from the last three games, but with a cushion to the sides outside the play-offs and 12 games remaining to catch the sides above them, it remains a promising position.

Their fifth place is the highest United have been at this stage of a season for a decade.

Wright is keen to emphasise the positives, particularly given a campaign where the strongest XI has rarely been available.

“We have struggled with injuries, we have struggled with suspensions, we’ve had a small squad and haven’t had a massive budget,” the U’s skipper said.

“I think we’ve been brilliant to get here.

“If you had told me at the start of the season that all the problems we’ve had that we would be fifth with 12 games left then everyone would’ve snapped your hands off.

“We have got a big push now and we need everyone behind us.

“We need the fans to stick behind us and be loud home and away to keep us going and I'm sure we will get promoted.”

The 27-year-old is expected to return centre half against Burton Albion tomorrow after deputising at left back for the suspended Tom Newey during last weekend’s defeat.

All season Wright has hailed the team spirit as the best he has known and despite the result at Rochdale, there were signs which encouraged the captain.

He said: “Everyone is pulling in the same way, everyone wants the same thing and you can see that.

“Tom Newey and Whingy (Andy Whing) were at Rochdale. Neither was involved, but they travelled when they didn't have to.

“They were gutted we didn’t win the game.

“I think we have a really special thing, we just have to keep going and keep our team spirit and I’m sure we’ll be fine.”