CAMERON Brannagan plans to grit his teeth and play through the pain in a bid to help keep Oxford United’s season on track.

While scans show the midfielder’s knee injury has healed, he is still suffering from shooting pains which can take 60 seconds to fully subside.

It makes for a difficult situation for Brannagan, who has no clear idea of when it will improve.

A pain-killing injection could be considered, but in the meantime the 23-year-old just plans to grin and bear it as United gear up for a trip to Gillingham tomorrow looking for a win to stay in Sky Bet League One’s top six.

He said: “It’s frustrating because I want to do everything I can to be on the pitch and help the boys.

“There are certain things I would normally do that I can’t.

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“It’s not an ache, it’s more like a sharp pain. It takes a good minute to start feeling normal again.

“The scan was all clear, so now I need to bite my lip and try to get through the pain if I can.

“I just need to keep looking forward.”

The initial injury came at the end of October, when Brannagan was in the form of his life.

But he is confident the stellar performances will quickly return once he is pain-free.

He said: “I was full of confidence and not thinking about anything other than playing football.

“I was loving every minute of it, but you’re going to get these knock-backs. I’ve just got to deal with it.”

He added: “I know as soon as I get rid of this pain I’ll be back to where I was, not a problem.

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“It’s just at the minute it’s playing on my mind.”

An out-of-sorts Brannagan was substituted at half-time during last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to Rotherham United.

But he looked better as a substitute in the rain-affected goalless draw with Ipswich Town in midweek, so will be involved in the squad which heads to Kent.

United sit fifth in the table, but the promotion-chasing pack still consists of two-thirds of the division.

Karl Robinson’s side have picked up one point from three games in 2020, but Brannagan does not feel a pressure to win.

“If I’m honest, not at all,” he said.

“I don’t think ‘we’ve got to beat this team’.

“We concentrate on who we’re playing and we want to win every game, but if you start thinking like that you can over-think and things creep in.

“I believe in this squad and the manager.

“I said that at the start of the season and this is a big couple of months now.

“It’s a big push that we need and I think we’ve got enough to go and do it.

“We’ve got to keep doing the right things in training and tick the games off.”