ELLIOTT Moore is one of the best Sky Bet League One defenders at playing out from the back, reckons Oxford United head coach Des Buckingham.

U’s skipper Moore was unavailable at the weekend as he served a one-game suspension, having accumulated five bookings so far this season.

His absence was keenly felt at the heart of the United defence, as both Stephan Negru and Jordan Thorniley appeared rusty following large periods not in the team.

Buckingham feels the U’s missed not only Moore’s leadership, but also his ability on the ball.

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He said: “You only need to walk round this building to see the leadership quality that Elliott has. It’s not just about leading, it’s about he plays.

“We’re a team that wants to play out from the back and have a lot of possession, and he’s a player that’s very comfortable and if not one of the best defenders in the league that’s capable of doing that.”

While Moore returns from suspension, United will be without Ruben Rodrigues, who was shown two yellow cards at Cheltenham Town, meaning he serves a one-game ban.

Buckingham said: “We spoke afterwards and we said as a group we want to be successful this year, in terms of both cup competitions and certainly with the league.

“To do that, with the games coming as thick and fast as they are, you need every single player on the field for every single game.

“Injuries will play their part for not being available, but suspensions for discipline certainly shouldn’t.

“It’s something we’ve spoken about and something we’re aware of, and something I don’t want to see again while I’m here.”