JOHN Mousinho hailed Elliott Moore’s progress as the centre back gets set to make his 100th Oxford United appearance.

The 24-year-old could bring up a century of U’s games at Burton Albion on Saturday, little more than two years after joining from Leicester City.

Moore was in and out of the side in his first season, with Mousinho and Rob Dickie providing stiff competition at the heart of defence.

But when the latter left for Queens Park Rangers last September he stepped up to play every Sky Bet League One minute in 2020/21, taking the captaincy in December.

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Moore does not turn 25 until next March and Mousinho is backing his teammate to kick on.

He said: “Elliott’s done brilliantly well and to achieve that in just his third full season is a really good thing.

“In his first season he was more of an understudy and did really well when he came in.

“He’s taken over the mantle and filled the void left by Rob Dickie.

“He’s probably one of the better centre halves in the league now, so hopefully he can push on and go much higher.

“If that’s with us, brilliant, and he can hopefully make a few more hundred appearances for Oxford.”

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Moore made 35 appearances in 2019/20 and would surely have hit 40 if the campaign had not been halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Nobody in the squad played more than his 54 games last season, as he skippered United through their record-breaking nine-match winning streak and charge to the play-offs.

Injury and illness has restricted him to just ten outings this term, the last of his three-year contract.

Moore is not the only U’s player closing in on an appearance milestone.

James Henry is two games from bringing up 200 for the club, while Alex Gorrin is three away from 100 and Ryan Williams reaches 50 when he next steps on the pitch.