JOHN Lundstram believes teaming up with Ryan Ledson has been the impetus to the Oxford United captain coming back so strongly after being dropped.

The former Everton teammates had only played a few minutes together at the U’s until last weekend.

Two games and six points later, the pair have been quick to form a promising partnership in central midfield.

It was just what Lundstram needed, having been dropped the previous week after struggling to recapture the form of last season.

The U’s skipper has enjoyed re-uniting with Ledson, whose more defensive nature allows Lundstram to play his natural game.

He said: “I’ve played with him for many years and we know each other’s game inside out.

“It’s given me a bit more freedom to push forward a bit more, which is nice.

“I’ve got bags of energy and I’m showing it a bit more.

“I wasn’t happy to be left out and I was determined to come back in and prove my worth again.

“I’ve played a lot of games now and been dropped before, it’s happened to everyone.

“I’ll always react in the right way, it’s just nice to get back-to-back wins.”

He added: “We’ve done nothing yet.

“We’ve won back-to-back games and that’s what we were expecting at the start of the season anyway.

“The hard work continues and we just have to back this up with another result on Saturday (at Scunthorpe United) to try and get a run together.”

For his part, Ledson is happy to take on the majority of the dirty work.

He said: “We’ve known each other for years and have played with each other at Everton.

“I’m happy to sit and pick up the second balls and let Lunny get forward.

“With his big long legs he can get forward and score goals as well.”

Appleton admitted he signed Lundstram in August 2015 with a view to deploying him further forward.

But the plan was changed by the form of Liam Sercombe, who scored 17 goals from midfield last season.

Speaking after the 4-1 win against Coventry City last Saturday, the head coach said: “When I brought John here he was that type of player in terms of he did like to play high up the pitch.

“But the partner he had last year in Liam Sercombe was outstanding at that as well.

“Lunny played a different role which he wasn’t used to but it’s something he adapted to really well.

“He’s struggled at times this year, but he was outstanding.”