XEMI believes he is ready to make a first start in Sky Bet League One for Oxford United if required when they visit Southend United today.

The former Barcelona B midfielder joined in the summer knowing it would be a steep learning curve.

But four months on, Xemi has shown signs he has adapted to the English game and has featured in eight of United’s last 11 fixtures in all competitions.

His only starts this season have come in the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, but the 22-year-old is confident he could deliver if manager Pep Clotet threw him in from the beginning at Roots Hall.

He said: “Of course, I came here to play.

“I knew when I came that I had to take it step-by-step and it would be difficult getting used to English football.

“I’ve been patient and now I’m coming on more.

“Of course I want more. I want to start and when he (Clotet) decides I will try to perform as I always do. I’m looking forward to this moment.”

The main area for improvement for the Catalan has been the physical side of the game.

While one of the strongest players at Barcelona B, life in League One has proved very different – particularly with what referees deem a foul.

He said: “They let us play more. For example, when you’re jumping, here everyone uses their arms and in Spain if you use a little bit of your arm it’s a foul every time.

“I started with no tackling and then every time I tackle more and they say nothing, so I’ll keep doing it.”

Another difference has been the number of games on the schedule, which Xemi thinks can partly explain why United can beat Plymouth Argyle 4-0 last Saturday and then lose 4-2 against Blackburn Rovers three days later.

He said: “I think one of the most difficult things in League One is to be consistent.

“You have that many games that if you work really hard on a Saturday it’s so hard to be 100 per cent on a Tuesday.

“If you look at the table before Blackburn we were two points from the play-offs and now we’ve lost a game and it looks so far.

“It’s not, we have to look at it with perspective and we’re confident we’ll perform on Saturday and will be up there again.”