OXFORD United’s season is starting to gain momentum after a tough start, says Anthony Forde.

The U’s have scored 13 goals without conceding in their last four games to climb to 12th in Sky Bet League One and reach the Carabao Cup fourth round.

Karl Robinson’s men host Gillingham at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon (3pm), fresh from last Saturday’s record-breaking 6-0 win at Lincoln City and the 4-0 cup thrashing of West Ham United on Wednesday.

It is three weeks since United slipped to 20th with a 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood Town, but Forde feels the improvement since then is clear to see.

“The scorelines say it all, but it’s the performances as well,” he said.

“Apart from scoring goals, the big plus is the clean sheets. We were conceding so many goals at the start of the season and if we get that right we know we’re a real threat going forward.

“In the last few games we’ve defended really well as a group.”

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After a promising start to the campaign, United took one point from their next five league games, stopping the rot with a 3-0 triumph over Tranmere Rovers a fortnight ago.

The U’s have hit form since then to build a run of one defeat in their last eight matches.

Forde called on his teammates to continue that form against Gillingham, who have yet to win away this season.

“There’s great quality in the squad – it’s clicked in the last few games and you’ve seen the results,” he said.

“We need to be consistent and keep standards high, because we know we can perform like that.

“We know we should be higher and the table doesn’t lie, but the most important thing is to keep picking up points in the league.”

Forde was one of six players to come into the side and impress against West Ham and the competition for places leaves Robinson with some tricky decisions when he names this afternoon’s starting line-up.

“I’m sure any manager wants to be having sleepless nights over who they want to pick,” the 25-year-old said.

“Don’t get me wrong, you’re frustrated when you’re not starting, but to succeed we need to be together as a squad.”

Robinson has been encouraged by United’s recent form, but he stressed the importance of keeping the run going.

“There’s not many teams that can boast that sort of tally at our level,” he said.

“The run of results we’ve had is quite incredible in the last eight games, but we’ve got to make sure we get that into double figures.”

OXFORD United travel to Crawley Wasps tomorrow (2pm), looking to maintain their unbeaten start in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier.