BRANDON Barker is ready to take it up a notch after getting up to speed for Oxford United.

The Rangers loanee had not completed 45 minutes in a single game since October when he joined the U's on transfer deadline day.

But the 24-year-old played 87 and 88 minutes in United's last two Sky Bet League One outings, against Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town respectively. 

After contributing a goal and an assist in the first five games of his U's career, Barker insists he can find another level.

He said: “Up to now I’ve done okay, but I still think there’s a lot more to come.

"I’ve only just started playing regularly again, so I’m just trying to build my form and help the team out.

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“When I came in, my match-fitness was really low and that’s pretty hard to take.

"When you can’t play every single game it’s quite frustrating.

"Now I’m in a really good place – I lasted 80-odd minutes against Ipswich, so now I can’t really complain about the fitness.

"I just need to focus on the performance and help out with goals and assists.”

Barker will be available for the home game against fellow promotion contenders Portsmouth tomorrow, where United will be bolstered by Sam Long's return.

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The right back sustained a hamstring injury against Bristol Rovers 13 days ago, with Jamie Hanson and Anthony Forde deputising in the meantime.

U's head coach Karl Robinson said: “He’s ready and raring to go.

"He’s been a bit of a loss because of the stability he gives us.

"But I thought Fordey was very good in the second half on Saturday.

"It’s always been a position we’ve been relatively comfortable about.”

Long's recovery means Marcus McGuane and John Mousinho remain the only players sidelined, while Luke McNally is making good progress in his mini pre-season.