DAN Agyei believes the quality of Oxford United’s squad is helping him improve as a player.

The 22-year-old scored his first U’s goal moments after coming on in Saturday’s 4-0 win at Southend United.

Agyei admitted opening his account was a huge relief after featuring just six times for the club before the victory at Roots Hall.

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But while fellow strikers Matty Taylor and Jamie Mackie have kept him out of the side, the ex-Burnley man revealed training alongside the duo is already paying dividends.

“They really encourage me and help me out with my game,” he said.

“There’s a lot of areas in my game where I try to learn from them.

“When I came I wasn’t fully fit, so I was playing catch-up a bit. Now I’ve started to feel more like myself.

“When you’re not in the side you need to do a lot more than everyone else, so that when you get a chance you’re ready for it.”

The striker joined United as a free agent in August, but had to regain match fitness due to a lack of pre-season.

Opportunities have been scarce, with Agyei’s only starts coming in the Leasing.com Trophy wins over Norwich City under 21s and Crawley Town.

United’s 15-game unbeaten run, which has lifted them into the Sky Bet League One play-off places, has made it even harder to break into the team.

But despite his goal at Southend, Agyei knows that while the U’s continue to impress, his chances are likely to come from the bench.

He said: “The team’s doing so well so you can’t really say much. We’ve got quality players and are winning every match.

“We’re going into every game thinking we can beat any team.

“All I can do is keep trying to do well when I come on.”

The U’s were already 3-0 up before Agyei’s goal, but players and staff celebrated the strike wildly nonetheless.

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Taylor, who himself scored twice at Southend, was delighted to see his teammate break his duck.

He said: “Probably the quickest we all moved was when Dan scored – we were over the moon for him.

“Hopefully he can kick on and add a few more.

“The first one’s always the most difficult, it plays on your mind at times.

“He’s had to be patient and he’s got his chance and taken it with both hands.

“We’ve seen what his game’s all about: power, pace and touch, being direct and he’s got a hammer of a left foot.”