JOSH Ruffels has reflected on becoming a fixture on Oxford United’s left side as he approaches a special milestone.

The defender is set to play his 300th game for his hometown club in tonight’s Sky Bet League One clash against Portsmouth at the Kassam Stadium (7pm).

Ruffels, 27, has made the left-back spot his own since Karl Robinson took over in March 2018, racking up 137 appearances under the U’s head coach.

The United stalwart had mainly been used in midfield after joining from Coventry City in July 2013, but the switch enabled him to race towards his latest landmark.

“It’s incredible,” he said.

“300 appearances for Oxford is something I’m really proud to have achieved.

“Michael Appleton put me in there for a few games when we got promoted (from League Two in 2015/16).

“It was a little bit alien to me, but I thought it could be a possibility.

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“The gaffer obviously saw that as well and moved me.

“It’s worked perfectly and I’ve really enjoyed it, especially being a left-footed player going up and down the line.

“I enjoy defending and hopefully I can kick on more as the seasons go by.”

Ruffels is 23rd in United’s all-time list for appearances and just 11 more games would see him move past Johnny Love, Kevin Brock and Pat Quartermain into the top 20.

The defender first needs to agree a new contract, which expires this summer, but he is young enough to challenge the higher echelons of the rankings.

Ruffels insists he is not motivated by his place in the record books, though.

He said: “I don’t really look at it.

“People tell me about the records, but it’s not in my mind.

“You never know what happens in football, you can suddenly be out of the squad, so I don’t want to take that for granted.

“I’ll see what happens when I’m at the end of my career.”

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Ruffels is one of just eight survivors from the squad Robinson inherited and the United boss was full of praise.

“He’s stood the test of the transformation from where we were to where we are,” he said.

“Any good wingers who come up against us, he deals with in a very calm and collected manner.

“He’s a manager’s dream and getting 300 games for the football club is a tremendous milestone for a local lad.

“He’s 7/10 every week – he might jump up to an eight every now and again, but he rarely drops to a six.

“I’ve had a few of them in my career as a manager and he’s one that never lets me down.”