LIAM Sercombe’s absence from Oxford United’s matchday squad at Walsall was because of “discipline reasons”, according to Michael Appleton.

The U’s head coach refused to shed any more light on the issue after not naming the midfielder in his 18 men.

Appleton was asked if Sercombe’s omission had anything to do with comments he made after last Sunday’s Checkatrade Trophy final defeat, when he came off the bench to score from central midfield.

“He was left out the squad for discipline reasons,” the U’s boss said.

“You can mention what you want, but I’m not going to elaborate on it.”

Sercombe has been operating as a wide player since the turn of the year due to the form of John Lundstram and Ryan Ledson.

But after Wembley, he said he wanted to be featuring more in his preferred central role, and hoped his strike had ‘proved a point’.

The 26-year-old, who has played 101 games since joining United from boyhood club Exeter City in the summer of 2015, did go on to play in the midweek defeat to Fleetwood Town.

But he was not included in the squad on Saturday.