JAMIE Mackie is already counting down the days until the new football season starts – and the forward expects to deliver far more for Oxford United next time around.

The 33-year-old captained the side on the final day of the campaign, when a 3-1 defeat at Luton Town confirmed a 12th-place finish in Sky Bet League One.

It was the first loss in ten games for the U’s, a run which gave the club a big lift in the closing weeks of the season.

And Mackie believes it has whetted everyone’s appetite for the next challenge, which kicks off in 88 days.

He said: “It sounds crazy after a gruelling season, but I can’t wait to get back and get started.

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“You need a break after 46 games, plus the cups, but we’re leaving quite looking forward to coming back, which is a great place to be in my opinion.

“Let’s hope the lads have a good rest, come back and are ready to do something special next season.”

United played 58 matches in all competitions, with Mackie missing just ten of them.

But a return of six goals left the former QPR and Nottingham Forest front man disappointed.

He said: “I’m honest about my season, I haven’t scored enough.

“If I had scored more we would probably be higher up the league, so I need to improve on that.”

The positive for Mackie is there was a clear explanation for the underwhelming start.

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Having signed late in pre-season, he was playing catch-up while hampered by fitness issues which took time to settle down.

But with a year left on his contract at United, the veteran will be back on day one of the preparations in June and ready to hit the ground running.

He said: “It will make a massive difference.

“It’s imperative at any age, but when you get older it’s essential you have a pre-season.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have one and I carried an injury in.

“That certainly didn’t help me, but I’m honest and I didn’t turn up for ten games.

“It wasn’t for the want of trying. I was grafting every day in the gym to make sure I was right, it just wasn’t working.

“I had a little break, came back and my performances increased.

“I’m delighted with the amount of games I’ve played, but I want to build on that with better performances consistently next season.”