MATTY Taylor says Oxford United’s form over the last two seasons shows they are still on an ‘upward trajectory’.

The U’s tasted Sky Bet League One play-off disappointment for the second year in a row, losing 6-3 on aggregate to Blackpool in their semi-final.

It denied United the chance to atone for the previous season’s defeat to Wycombe Wanderers in the Wembley final.

Despite missing out on promotion to the Sky Bet Championship again, Taylor has seen progress since he re-joined his home town club in August 2019.

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The 31-year-old said: “We’ve taken giant leaps forward.

“We were battling relegation the year before I came and we’ve got a very good squad of players.

“We’ve shown in the last couple of seasons we can mix it with the so-called big boys in this league, and I think we’re well-respected in this division.

“Finishing in the play-offs last year and this year is a bit of consistency.

“We’ll keep building and ultimately if you keep putting in good performances we’ll get the rewards.”

The U’s finished 16th and 12th in the two seasons before the striker arrived at the club, initially on loan from Bristol City.

United were fourth in the coronavirus-interrupted 2019/20 campaign, before claiming sixth place this year.

It was a quick turnaround between the two seasons, but the U’s can now look forward to a proper summer break and a full pre-season before their first match of 2021/22 on August 7.

After two near-misses, the expectation will be for United to challenge again and head coach Karl Robinson has already moved to bolster his squad.

Jack Stevens, Sam Long and Mark Sykes are among the key players who have been tied down to new contracts, while Marcus McGuane has signed a permanent deal.

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The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder, 22, impressed before injury cut short his loan spell from Nottingham Forest last season and Taylor feels the deal makes a statement.

United’s No 9 said: “It’s obviously a massive signing for the club.

“Marcus has got unbelievable quality and potential, he’ll only get better and better.

“He showed quite a few glimpses this season of what he’s going to add to the side next season and hopefully for years to come.

“I’m sure that’ll be the first of a few signings.

“I guess they’ve already got targets in mind, but it feels like it’s on an upward trajectory.

“We’re building for that next level and we’ll go again next year.

“We’ve got a good group of players and staff and we’ll keep going until we get where we want to be."