Lee Cox insists the mood in the Oxford United squad remains upbeat – despite losing their last four league games.

A 2-1 loss at Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night confirmed the club’s worst run in almost two years.

It has seen the U’s slip from the top of npower League Two down to 16th ahead of Saturday’s home game against Bradford City.

But Cox, who is on loan from Swindon, stressed the atmosphere around the squad had not been dampened by the run.

“We’re confident in ourselves, we’re not in that dressing room thinking ‘this is doom and gloom’ because we know we can do it,” he said.

“It happens, but like we said in the dressing room (after Cheltenham) we can’t keep dwelling on that defeat.

“It will come, as long as we don’t fade – we’ve got to keep working hard and as long as we keep playing our football, victories are on the way.”

He added: “Day-to-day the mood doesn’t change and everyone comes in wanting to work hard. I’ve been surprised at how good the lads are, to be honest.”

Cox returned to the side at Cheltenham after six games out with a groin injury.

As the only fit naturally defensive-minded midfielder in the squad, he has become an important player given Andy Whing’s prolonged spell out.

The 21-year-old admits it has been difficult as a spectator in recent weeks.

He said: “It’s been frustrating.

“I hate watching anyway and sometimes it’s been hard for me to go to the ground because I get edgy in the stands. I want to be on the pitch.

“I don’t think the lads have been doing badly at all, it’s just you can see a lot of good goals have been going against us. “We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep going.”

U’s boss Chris Wilder was delighted to have Cox and Peter Leven back, even if they played more minutes than planned.

He said: “It was good see Lee Cox back, how he got through 90 minutes I’ll never know. Lev played half an hour, which was 20 minutes longer than he should have done.”

CHRIS Wilder moved up to tenth in the list of longest-serving Football League managers at the same club yesterday, after AFC Wimbledon sacked Terry Brown after a poor run of form.

Meanwhile, Coventry City yesterday appointed former Rotherham United and Barnsley boss Mark Robins as their new manager.

Wilder had been strongly linked with the vacancy.