CHEY Dunkley insists Oxford United will not be seen as a pushover tonight by a Wigan Athletic side who thrashed them 7-0 in December.

The 26-year-old defender had a quiet afternoon on his first return to the Kassam Stadium since leaving the U’s last summer.

But despite the record home defeat – and the 37-point gap between the sides in the Sky Bet League One table – Dunkley is braced for a tricky evening.

He told the Oxford Mail: “We’re not going to think ‘we won 7-0 so this is going to be a soft touch’.

“We can’t be thinking like that.

“We know Oxford are coming off the back of a win with a new regime could be on a high now, so they will pose a threat and we need to be ready for it.”

Dunkley made 96 appearances for the U’s, with his seven goals including the opener in the promotion-clinching win over Wycombe Wanderers in 2016.

The centre back remains in touch with several former teammates at the club and was pleased to receive a warm reception in December.

He said: “It was brilliant when I was there and I have so much respect for the club, because they gave me the opportunity to get back into League football.

“I do look out for the club every week.

“I got a really nice response from the fans and I just wanted to say my thanks afterwards, because I still had a job to do.

“You sometimes get those days where every single shot you have goes in.

“After the game I spoke to a few players and said ‘keep your head up, it’s only one result’.

“It was only three points they had lost and I told them to keep going and push for the play-offs.”

He added: “It was good to see them get a result on Saturday, which was most needed.

“It got them to that 50-point mark and you’d like to think with four games to go you can get one or two points to secure League One status – just not against us though, hopefully.”