MARK Sykes hopes his early-season form is just the start as he eyes more goals for Oxford United.

The midfielder scored his third of the campaign against Shrewsbury Town yesterday – already his best return since joining the U’s in January 2019.

Those goals came in the space of eight matches, equalling Sykes’s tally for his previous 98 games.

The 24-year-old said: “I should be hitting targets higher than that.

“I said last year, when I score early in the season - even going back to playing in Ireland - I scored nine or ten goals.

The verdict: Oxford United ground out victory as Mark Sykes and defence impressed

“When I score early I get that belief.

“Hopefully there’s many more to come.”

Sykes struck within a minute of the restart against Shrewsbury to set the tone for an excellent second half.

The goal came when the Irishman was deployed on the left, as he switched wings with Gavin Whyte throughout the contest.

But Sykes was more dangerous on the right, where he has been one of United’s standout performers this season.

Ratings: Every Oxford United player marked out of 10 against Shrewsbury

He said: “I think the manager and I know where my best position is, especially this season when I’ve been playing out on the right quite a lot.

“I even speak to my family about it, I feel like people are giving me the ball in hard positions now, whereas playing in the middle it’s always me giving the ball to somebody else.

“Playing higher up you’re always going to get more chances and that’s why you’ll score more goals.

“I’ll play wherever I need to be and I’m doing really well this year, so long may it continue.”