ROB Dickie says anything other than a top-half finish would now be a disappointment for Oxford United after their winning streak was extended to four games.

The 3-1 victory at Walsall effectively ensured they will be in Sky Bet League One next season, despite playing with ten men for half the game following Marcus Browne’s dismissal.

It took them to 52 points, a tally which has been safe in the third tier for the last 25 years.

And with a cushion now established even over Gillingham in 13th, they look well-placed to improve on last season’s 16th-placed finish.

Dickie, who headed his first goal of the season to open the scoring at the Bescot Stadium, is in the mood to at least hold their position during the final month of a testing campaign.

He said: “That’s what we want. Anything below the top half we won’t be happy with.

“It’s incredible. The mood around the place all season has been really low and last season it wasn’t quite like that, but we might finish higher than that, which would be a great achievement for us.

“It’s credit to the manager, the players, the coaches, the fans, everyone.

“We want to enjoy our football and we’ve not really been able to.

“At the same time, we want to stay focused and work hard to get this club finishing somewhere in the table that really suits us.”

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The victory was United’s third in five away games, having failed to win any of their first 16 league fixtures on the road.

Just as with their 1-0 win at Coventry City a fortnight earlier, the Yellow Army were out in force.

And the almost 1,500-strong travelling support enjoyed their day out, particularly when Jerome Sinclair ran through to score the third goal in the final seconds.

U’s head coach Karl Robinson said: “They are moments when you stand as a manager and it’s a beautiful sight when you see one of your players running through on goal, see the net bulge and then the fans behind the goal go berserk.

“Then the players join them in the celebration.

“There’s no better feeling than that and it’s why this is the greatest game in the world and we love it so much.

“I’m so proud of these players.”

But it was the end of the road for Robinson’s opposite number Dean Keates, who was sacked by Walsall within an hour of the final whistle.