ANDY Melville was in upbeat mood after seeing Oxford United move a step closer to the new season with a promising performance in a 2-1 defeat against a full strength Cardiff City.

Despite suffering the first defeat in pre-season, the U’s first-team coach felt there were plenty of encouraging signs.

Alfie Potter scored United’s goal after Peter Whittingham and Filip Kiss had put Cardiff 2-0 ahead.

He said: “I think it was a really good performance against a very good Cardiff side.

“They are going to be up there in the Championship and obviously have ambitions to get into the Premier League.

“There are a lot of positives, Alfie got his goal again, there were no injuries from the game and people are getting a lot of game time. “Overall we’re really pleased with the way things are going.”

United had faded late on in friendlies this summer, but the way they finished the game showed full fitness is close with just over a week until competitive football begins.

Melville said: “It was only us (in the final 20 minutes), Cardiff got the ball, but could only keep it for a few seconds because we were on top of them.

“We got in really good positions, we did in the first half as well but after half time we showed a little bit more composure.”

It was Potter’s second goal in as many games and the winger looked bright all afternoon.

He said: “I’m just getting back into the swing of things now.

“That was my first 90 minutes, and to score another goal was good.

“It was difficult, but we’re not going to be coming up against teams like that in our league.

“They keep the ball very well and that’s the reason they’re at the top of the Championship all the time.

“It was a different test, but something we’ll learn from.”

United continue their pre-season preparations when they send a side to take on Eastleigh tomorrow (7.45pm).