SAM Winnall is aiming to put a difficult period of his career behind him after joining Oxford United.

The striker, who was a free agent after leaving Sheffield Wednesday in June, signed yesterday on a two-year deal, with the option of an extra 12 months.

The 29-year-old arrived in time to join the squad as they travelled north for today’s Sky Bet League One opener at Lincoln City (3pm).

Winnall will be delighted to seal the move following a frustrating few years, which began with a serious knee ligament injury while on loan at Derby County in February 2018.

The forward has made only 25 appearances since then, with the most recent coming in January, and admitted his release from Championship side Wednesday left him in a difficult position.

He said: “It’s been tough for all footballers, not just the ones out of contract.

“It’s been such an uncertain time and I don’t think anyone could have anticipated what we’d be going through.

“As an out-of-contract player it’s tough anyway, but add the Covid situation to it and it’s twice as hard.

“I’m glad it’s finally sorted and I can get myself playing and hopefully back scoring goals.”