OXFORD head to Valley Parade tomorrow still in shock from their nightmare before Christmas against Wigan.

Pep Clotet's team were blasted 7-0 on their own patch by the leaders – their heaviest-ever loss at home in the league which equalled their record worst result at Sunderland 19 years ago.

Skipper John Mousinho admitted the older heads in the team have to carry the can and owe it to their younger team-mates to ensure the shock of that hammering does not derail their season.

He said: "We have got some good young players. It's a big learning curve for them and maybe it's not helping that the senior ones are also making mistakes.

"Age is irrelevant really. If you are losing games 7-0 whether you're 19 or 33, it's obviously not good enough.

"For some of them it will be the first time they took a hammering like that but for the older heads, it happens a couple of times in your career.

"The only thing we can do is make sure we use our experience to help the young lads and make sure they don't take it as a terminal loss."

Oxford responded well enough to earn a Boxing Day point at Gillingham, although a late equaliser from the Kent side did little to help the mood.

Tipped to be among the League One front-runners this season, they remain far from out of it with a six-point gap to the last play-off spot.

There is also money in the bank for potential business in the transfer window after Marvin Johnson's £2million switch to Middlesbrough on deadline day in August.

Clotet targeted the overseas market following his appointment in the summer but the Spaniard is expected to look closer to home next month.

Another likely change from the team City scrapped a late point against earlier in the season is a switch to two up front.

Clotet put Jon Obika alongside Wes Thomas during the second half of the Wigan massacre and played them together from the start at Gillingham.