OXFORD United already feels like home for Craig Short.

The former Everton and Blackburn Rovers defender joined the U’s as first-team coach last month, after leaving his role in charge of the Under 23s at Derby County.

A much smaller commute was one immediate benefit for the 52-year-old, who lives in Bicester with his wife and brother Chris, United’s head of physical performance.

But day-to-day life at the U’s has also impressed Short and he admitted the club have surpassed even his expectations.

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He said: “The reality’s even better.

“Chris has been working here for two years and turned down an opportunity in the summer to go to a bigger club because he enjoys it so much here.

“I always wanted to come once I got the phone call.”

Short added: “I’ve moved a lot in my career and it’s always hard to move to a new club.

“But it’s been so welcoming, the manager genuinely cares about the players and he’s an excellent coach.

“What he’s done here and the football he plays are some of the reasons I came and I really am enjoying it.

“I feel like I’ve been here longer than a month.”

Short previously worked strictly with younger players, but he returned to the first-team environment when he replaced Derek Fazackerley as Karl Robinson’s right-hand man.

The U’s coach admitted he will miss developing the stars of the future, but revealed his new charges had made life easy for him.

“Some lads here aren’t much older than some of the ones I was coaching at Derby,” he said.

“The players have been really receptive.

“They’re a really good group, very hungry and desperate to do well.

“A lot of them want to go and play at a higher level and I’m sure a lot of them will.”