Oxford United manager Darren Patterson could not hide his delight at clinching the signings of Craig McAllister and Adam Murray on Friday.

Midfielder Murray joins from Macclesfield on a one-and-a-half year contract, while striker McAllister has sealed a move from Grays until the end of this campaign.

And Patterson believes the duo will give everyone around the club a much-needed lift.

"They are both very good players and I am delighted that they have agreed to join us," Patterson said.

"It's no secret that confidence is a bit low - especially in an attacking sense - but these two players can give everyone a much-needed boost.

"That's not only the fans, but the squad too.

"They know that we needed fresh faces in to give everyone a lift."

Both will go straight into the squad for today's match with Altrincham, and Patterson admitted the pair will probably start.

"There's every chance," he said.

"They trained with us and we worked on a few things, but we'll wait and see."

United have not paid a fee for either player, but have agreed a 'deal' with Macclesfield over the move of Murray.

"We have done well to get these players in because there was a lot of interest in them," Patterson said.

"They both had several other offers - some of which were from clubs in a higher division than ourselves - but were both very keen to come here and play for Oxford United."

The third new face Patterson was keen to bring in - rumoured to be midfielder Gavin Strachan - did not happen, but the U's boss is hopeful of completing a deal on Monday.

Murray played in the Premiership for Derby County in 1999, before establishing himself in the first team at Pride Park.

Since then he has played for Kidderminster, Notts County, Mansfield, Carlisle, Torquay and Macclesfield.

McAllister hit 22 goals in 32 matches for Basingstoke before being snapped up by Stevenage Borough.

He scored 16 goals for Woking in 2005-6 and 18 last season and joined Grays in the summer.

However, he fell out of favour and went on loan to Rushden, where he scored against Oxford in the 5-0 mauling at Nene Park in what turned out to be Jim Smith's last game in charge.