IVO Pekalski is hoping Pep Clotet can have a similar influence on Oxford United as he did in their previous stint together.

The midfielder, who joined from Halmstad on a two-year deal this week, was an 18-year-old when he joined Malmo in 2010.

Clotet was a coach working under former Sheffield Wednesday full back Roland Nilsson and the pair brought Pekalski into the senior side.

There they won the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top-flight, for only the second time since the 1980s.

It was the start of four titles in seven years – and they are 12 points clear at just past the halfway stage this season.

Even though Clotet was only at the club for one campaign, Pekalski believes it sowed the seeds for everything which has followed.

The 26-year-old said: “Pep was maybe the main reason why I came through at Malmo.

“That year we won gold and I think Malmo, at that time played football like no other team played before.

“I don’t know if you’ve been following Malmo but I think what was done in 2010 was the platform for what is happening now.

“The club hadn’t won gold in many years and then afterwards they advanced to the Europa League with a pretty young team.

“Now Malmo is one of the biggest clubs in Scandinavia and their ambition is to qualify for the Champions League every year.

“I think (it was) the mix of the leadership with them both and then adding Pep’s ideas – the philosophy of how to play football.

“He’s really good on the training field and you train as you play.

“That was one of the biggest keys to success.

“From what I’ve heard and understood there are ambitions (at Oxford) and I think he is one of the keys to fulfilling it.”