MIDE Shodipo feels Oxford United could benefit from being ‘underdogs’ against Blackpool.

The U’s snatched sixth place in Sky Bet League One on the last day of the campaign, while their play-off semi-final opponents finished third.

Meanwhile, Neil Critchley’s side visit the Kassam Stadium tomorrow having already tasted victory in Oxfordshire this season, winning 2-0 in March.

Karl Robinson: Pressure off Oxford United against Blackpool

Both teams ended the campaign strongly, with United taking 18 points from their final seven matches, but Shodipo reckons Blackpool are favourites ahead of the first leg.

The winger said: “We’ve both been in form, but I still feel like we’re the underdogs.

“I think that’s a good thing for us.

“They are favourites, but I don’t think we mind being underdogs.

“It helps us, there’s less pressure on us and more on them.”

United were always playing catch-up after their poor start to the campaign, which left them in the relegation zone as recently as December 12.

From late January, they were on the coat-tails of the top six without ever breaking in – except for the 72 hours following their win over Gillingham in April – until their final-day victory over Burton Albion.

Read also: How many teams have won the play-offs at the second attempt?

The U’s are hoping to follow in the footsteps of sides like Barnsley and Millwall, who gained promotion via the League One play-offs after finishing sixth in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

After timing their run to perfection, Shodipo is backing United to seize their opportunity.

The QPR loanee said: “That happens quite often, because no-one expects them to do well.

“I feel like there’s more fight in the teams that sneak in, because they’re not really meant to be there.

“They take their chance when they get it.

“It’s exciting to sneak in the way we did, because no-one really expected us to make the play-offs after our bad start to the season.”