ELLIOTT Moore is welcoming the chance to play a leading role at Oxford United.

After the sale of Rob Dickie and an injury to John Mousinho, the 23-year-old has suddenly become the side’s senior centre back.

He went on to wear the captain’s armband in the second half against Watford on Tuesday night.

It is a situation Moore is embracing, as he is again due to partner the less experienced Rob Atkinson when Sunderland visit in Sky Bet League One tomorrow.

He said: “It’s my role as a centre back, you do your own job but then you also have to help others as well.

“You see the big picture on the pitch and you have to take responsibility for your own game and others in front of you.

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“That’s part of the job as a centre back and I do relish that.”

Moore was signed just before last season and had to wait for his chances, but went on to make 35 appearances.

Patience comes easily to the former Leicester City apprentice, who is now looking to capitalise on his big opportunity.

He said: “I’m not the person to be smacking down the gaffer’s door.

“I just come in, work hard in training and bide my time.

“It’s paying off at the minute so I need to keep training hard and keep playing how the gaffer wants.”

While this is only the second league game of the season, both sides go into it looking to put frustrating starts behind them.

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As Karl Robinson’s side were going down to a 2-0 loss at Lincoln City, Sunderland needed a late goal from Chris Maguire to draw 1-1 at home to Bristol Rovers.

Tomorrow’s game came too soon for the U’s to volunteer as one of the test events in League One to allow a crowd of 1,000.

Playing behind closed doors remains a challenging prospect – and Moore believes it heightens the need for a tight-knit dressing room.

He said: “I think that’s hugely important.

“We have to stick together as a group because we haven’t got the fans behind us, pushing us.

“We need that extra bit of support from the staff and the players around us.

“We have to take into account there’s going to be no fans and that plays a part.

“We need to make our own atmosphere and get those three points.”