ELLIOTT Moore is targeting another tilt at promotion as he starts the season with his long-term future secure.

The Oxford United captain signed a new three-year contract in June that will keep him at the club until 2025.

Moore has been part of a trio of promotion near-misses since he arrived at the Kassam Stadium in 2019, twice helping the U’s reach the play-offs before last season’s eighth-place finish.

U'S HAVE YOUR SAY: 'We need to reach the play-off final as a minimum'

And the centre back returns for the new campaign refreshed from his longest summer break since he joined the club.

He said: “I’ve loved my time here and it really showed the club wanted me to be a part of it, so I was very happy to sign.

“The club’s massive, it’s been going forward for the last few years I’ve been here so I feel like there’s something missing, and that’s us being in the Championship.

“They’re doing a lot of work off the pitch, which we all see.

“The break was nice, especially after the three years we’ve had and we haven’t had much of a break in between.

“To come back gets you going and gets you energised again.

“Everything they’re doing and the way we’re going forward definitely fuels the pot to go again.”

The 25-year-old is an established member of the squad and took the captaincy in December 2020, aged just 23.

The turnover of an English Football League club means Moore is already one of the longer-serving first-team players and he is happy to take on the responsibility that brings.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s made me grow as a person and on the pitch as well.

“We’re not a team full of out and out leaders, so everyone helps in that way.

“I’ve really enjoyed it and hope it carries on that way.

“I’ve only been here three years, but a lot of the lads come and go.

“I feel part of the senior group now and it’s vital coming into seasons like this.”

READ MORE: Oxford United fans set to face less disruption than feared on way to Derby

Last term, United accumulated their highest points tally in the third tier since 1996, but they still missed out on the top six.

League One looks set to be just as competitive this time around, but Moore believes the U’s have enough talent in the squad to hold their own.

He said: “Ever since I came here the league’s got harder with bigger and better teams, so it’ll always be a hard league to get out of.

“We need to focus on ourselves and if we play the way we know we can I think we’ll be good.”