OXFORD City boss Mark Jones hopes that the two Easter fixtures can all but secure his side’s safety in Vanarama National League South.

After a challenging season, City lie in 16th place – nine points above the relegation zone.

Although losing 2-0 at home to promotion-chasing Dartford last weekend, the result was not too damaging as the teams below them also lost.

And Jones says with confidence still high in the camp, their games at Braintree today and at home to Chippenham on Easter Monday could go a long way to securing their status.

“It could definitely be the weekend that we can breathe easier,” Jones said.

“I was thinking with how well we have been playing that we could get on a nice little run and move up the table.

“I think the defeat last weekend scuppered that idea, but realistically, our target has always been to make sure we stay in this division.

“I think we’re now in a really good position to do that.”

City’s away record is marginally better than their home form, having posted six wins on the road.

Although Jones is expecting a tough game in Essex, he is hopeful of another positive away day.

“Braintree are a decent side and are pushing for the play-offs,” he commented.

“But I think if we can produce similar types of performances as we have done in the last couple of weeks, we have a good chance.

“I felt we had the better of the game against Dartford, certainly in terms of possession and territory.

“Our finishing let us down a bit, but we created more than enough chances to have got something from the game, so we are certainly not down about it.”

Other than Godfrey Poku’s continued absence with a dislocated knee, Jones names a full-strength squad both games.

“There is still room for improvement,” he said.

“It’s been a few weeks since we had a clean sheet, but I do think this could be the weekend that we could almost guarantee our safety.

Oxford City (v Braintree Tn, away): from King, Jones, Stevens, Fofana, Musonda, Oastler, Nombe, Fleet, Paterson, Sinclair, Grant, Godwin-Malife, McEachran, Forde, Cotter.