JACK Payne is loving life at Oxford United and expects to stay for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old is on loan until May, but parent club Huddersfield Town do have the option of recalling him in the new year.

Losing Payne, who is United’s joint top-scorer and leads the squad in assists, would be a significant blow.

But the attacking midfielder left the Terriers for regular football and has already started more games for United than in the whole of last season.

Payne said: “I came here to play every week and I’m happy here.

“I haven’t been told anything and I won’t get told anything, but as far as I know I expect to be here for the whole season.

“It’s important for me. I’m a footballer and I want to play every game I can – that’s what I’ve been doing here.

“It’s great for me and I feel like I’m an important part of the team, which means a lot.

“I just hope we can be successful as a team, because then it will be perfect.”

The solid start David Wagner’s side have made to their debut Premier League season is likely to mean Payne would not be in their plans in this campaign.

The only risk in January would be a Championship club making an offer, either as a loan to cover a higher percentage of his wages than United, or on a permanent deal.

But U’s manager Pep Clotet believes Payne’s status in the squad makes a strong case for staying put.

He said: “I’m in contact with Huddersfield every week – they call me or text me to see how Jack is doing.

“It’s very important for him the (style of) football we’re playing and that helps him a lot.

“He’s very happy to be with the Oxford family and that’s a good job from everyone at the club.

“We know that Huddersfield, from what they tell me, are very focused on his development.”