THE chance to take on a new challenge at Oxford United was too good to turn down for John Mousinho after it became clear his playing time at Burton Albion would be restricted.

A new one-year contract with the Brewers was only agreed in June, but it was terminated by mutual consent yesterday to allow the 31-year-old to move on deadline day.

Mousinho was part of the Burton side who won back-to-back promotions to go from League Two to the Championship.

The centre half made 32 appearances last season as they stayed up against the odds, but it quickly became clear he fallen down the pecking order at the Pirelli Stadium.

While leaving the Championship was not a choice Mousinho took lightly, it was made more straightforward by United’s interest – which had first arisen at the start of the summer.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said.

“It’s a slightly strange one because I only signed for Burton again in the summer and that was with the aim in mind to play as many games as I could and hopefully match my appearances last season.

“The conversation came with Burton that possibly chances would be limited following this transfer window.

“It was a case of staying and possibly sitting there until January and not having a single game, or drop down a league, get a new challenge and get the hunger back.

“For me, being wanted this much by Oxford was a no-brainer.

“I just thought ‘go where you’re wanted and back yourself to get back there (to the Championship)’.”

The two-year deal was finally signed at around 8.30pm.

It was the second time Mousinho had moved on deadline day, following a loan move from Preston North End to Stevenage in January 2014.

He said: “It is a bit mad, everything is very strange and the phone is ringing off the hook.

“It’s just a case of getting everything sorted with the paperwork so it’s done before the 11pm deadline.

“It’s always a bit tense, but quite exciting at the same time.

“I woke up with lots of questions to be answered from Burton’s side and Oxford’s.

“It was a case of a lot of back and forth to get a lot of the details done.”

Mousinho is available to make his debut for United tomorrow, when they visit Milton Keynes Dons in League One.

The former Brentford trainee has changed position several times in his career, but believes he will be used by the U’s in the same role he had occupied at Burton.

He said: “I started my career as a right back, but have played the majority of my games in central midfield.

“Then over the last three years I’ve moved back to centre half.

“I haven’t had a chat with the manager (about positions), I think he knows I’ve got that flexibility.

“I probably expect to play centre half, but I don’t really know.

“As much of a cliché as it is, I’m happy to play anywhere.”