JOHN Lundstram has paid tribute to Oxford United’s supporters for their backing during his time at the club, but felt the chance to join Sheffield United was too good to turn down.

The midfielder’s two years at the U’s came to an end this week when he joined the Sky Bet Championship club for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £700,000.

But the 23-year-old, who was key to promotion from League Two in 2015/16 and captained United last season, wanted to recognise the role played by United’s fans.

He said: “From day one the fans have always had my back and gave me great support.

“We’ve had bad games along the way and they’ve never got on my back.

“Particularly last season when things weren’t great at the start of the season they were always with me, so I’d like to say a massive thank-you to them.

“Hopefully they hold me in as high regard as I hold them.”

Lundstram was in the final year of his U’s contract and turned down several new offers.

Uncertainty over head coach Michael Appleton’s future was a factor, but even if he had stayed, the chance to play at a higher level would have been very persuasive.

Lundstram said: “I said to the old manager at the end of last season the decision for me to sign a new deal was hard because your future is always being speculated about.

“It’s my own decision and I think if the old gaffer had stayed on it would have been hard for me to turn a down a club of this magnitude.

“The little time I did work with the new manager (Pep Clotet), he was brilliant.

“I said it to him and the lads – I think this year is going to be a great season.

“It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision for myself.”

And when Lundstram was asked for the highlights of his time at United, he was spoiled for choice.

"I think just the first season all in all - the bunch of lads we had and the run we had with the fans," he said.

"The atmosphere in the first game against Swindon was one of the best I have ever played in, but that whole first year with promotion was the big one, along with leading the lads out at Wembley this year was good.

"It’s two years I will always cherish."