OXFORD United’s performances in the last week have shown they are ahead of schedule, according to manager Pep Clotet.

His side produced some thrilling attacking football in back-to-back home games, where they went so close to taking six points.

After Gillingham were fortunate to escape with only a 3-0 defeat on Saturday, the U’s were seconds away from beating a strong Bradford City side on Tuesday.

Despite drawing 2-2, they are eighth in Sky Bet League One before Saturday’s trip to Blackpool.

It has come as a welcome surprise for Clotet, who only took over in July and is working with a squad which has seen 14 new players arrive since the end of last season.

“I thought it’d take much longer for them to produce the football they are producing now,” he said.

“The players are gelling very well, there’s a good atmosphere and a focus on being better as a team.

“It doesn’t matter how good you are as a player, the important thing is to learn to play with the others and get everyone thinking the same thing at the same time.

“That requires a lot of time and work on the training ground and a mentality from the players that they don’t try to do their own thing.

“That takes a lot of time, so I’m very happy we are managing to do it at the minute.

“The fact we have only lost one game out of seven says a lot, because we are picking up results in a moment where we are maybe more vulnerable.”

Clotet was particularly pleased with the display in midweek, when United stuck to their game plan despite falling behind to Bradford against the run of play.

While the Spaniard knows they could have managed the game better in stoppage-time, the overall impression was positive.

He said: “The good thing is our team don’t lose their heads because of that situation.

“They kept playing the same kind of football for 90 minutes.

“With the ability the players have, this is the kind of football they have to produce – if they tried to play a different style it would be against their own nature.

“Obviously there are still a lot of things to improve, like being able to lock the game.”