DES Buckingham gave little away when asked about Josh Murphy’s contract situation at Oxford United.

Murphy sees his U’s deal expire this summer, while he is currently in the best run of form he has strung together for the club since signing in July 2022.

The 29-year-old has netted three times in his last six games, with his recent displays full of speed, skill and quality in the final third.

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Asked about Murphy’s contract, Buckingham responded: “Let’s keep him playing the way he is, and keep him on the pitch. This is the longest period of time that he has now been able to string together performances for the club.

“He’s starting to show the player that he is. You can see him enjoying his game, and performing to the levels that he knows, and we know.

“The good thing is we know there’s a lot more to come from him, and I’m excited to work with him to do that util the end of the season. The rest will take care of itself.”

Buckingham added: “As you grow up, you realise what’s important to you. You recognise there is more than one thing going on in your life, and you find a bit more balance.

“I think that’s played a part in him settling, and being a lot more assured in himself and in his performances.

“I’d like to think the way we set the team up and the way we’re working with him is also helping bring out the best he can do.”