NICO Jones is aware he may have to go out on loan to gain more experience after a stylish display on his Oxford United return.

The 18-year-old centre back played all of the 2-1 EFL Trophy win over Chelsea Under 21s - his first appearance since captaining the U's at Crawley Town in the same competition last November.

Jones is highly-rated by United, but knows a spell away from the club could be his fastest route to more first-team football.

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He said: "Everything happens for a reason in my eyes and I took the time to better myself as a player.

"The club knows what's best for me, so I take it and deal with it.

"I'm just waiting to hear what might happen."

The defender went out on loan to Oxford City in February, just three weeks before the Vanarama National League South season was cut short due to coronavirus.

Jones did not have the chance to make his mark at Court Place Farm, but was pleased with his performance against Chelsea's youngsters.

"It felt like a long time coming and I felt like I took the opportunity," he said.

"I was able to read the game a bit better and understand how they play.

"They don't go in behind a lot, which was easier for me to defend against."