JOSH Ruffels thinks the last time he felt this confident going into games was during Oxford United’s promotion season four years ago.

The left back is one of two survivors, along with Sam Long, from the side which went up from Sky Bet League Two in the 2015/16 campaign.

Now United are in the race to get out of League One and Karl Robinson’s men will be gunning for a fourth successive victory this afternoon when Southend United visit the Kassam Stadium.

Ruffels said: “If you’ve not got confidence at the moment you shouldn’t be playing, because the way we’re playing at the moment scoring goals and not conceding is what you want.

“It feels fairly similar (to 2015/16) with the confidence from everyone and backing yourself that you’re going to win every week.

“With 11 games to go I feel like we can really do it and something special’s going to happen.”

The clash comes at the end of a manic month for United’s players, who will get two days off to rest up following the Southend game.

No-one is more in need of a break than Ruffels – the 26-year-old is set to surpass Ryan Clarke in the club’s all-time appearance standings today and has played every minute in February.

But the defender admitted the opportunity to unwind will only really be welcomed if United get the job done against a Shrimpers side who have lost 23 league games heading into today’s game.

He said: “I’ll relax and recover because I’m knackered to be honest.

“I think waking up on Sunday with three points is the main thing and finishing off a good few weeks is what everyone wants to do. Hopefully we’ll do it.”

He added: “I’ve been here so long and I’ve played in many a game where you slip up against teams like this.

“We’re not taking anything for granted and know it will be a tough game.”

On top of the team’s goal this season, Ruffels has also got an individual target which is coming into sight.

Having started all 33 league games this season, the defender from Kidlington is three-quarters of the way to a complete campaign.

He said: “It’s in the back of my mind.

“To complete a whole season is something I’d be proud of.

It would be quite an achievement considering how tough it can be. Fingers crossed I can do it.”