Steve MacLean has agreed to stay with Oxford United until the end of the season – and instantly targeted promotion.

The Edinburgh-born striker’s loan with the U’s expired after the victory over Bradford.

And although United had already reached agreement with parent club Plymouth for MacLean to stay, the decision rested with the player.

After he threw his shirt into the crowd following the 2-1 victory, in which he scored, many fans felt he had played his last game for the club.

But MacLean will now stay with Chris Wilder’s side until the summer, and believes that everything is in place for the U’s to challenge for promotion.

“I am just happy that it’s all sorted,” he said.

“I can now look forward to the rest of the season.

“Hopefully, we can make a push for promotion. With the players we have here there’s no reason why not.”

Boss Wilder said that MacLean’s signature sent out a huge signal about the state of the club.

“This is a fantastic boost for us,” he said.

“To sign a player of Steve’s calibre shows the direction that the club is moving in, both on and off the pitch.”

MacLean, who joined Plymouth for £500,000 in January 2008, has made nine appearances for the U’s and scored twice.

His other goal came in the 2-1 victory at Chesterfield on November 23 – the start of United’s run which has seen them win six of their last seven games and climb to just a point off the League Two play-off places.