OXFORD United are already feeling the benefits of a proper summer break, says Matty Taylor.

The striker scored twice as the U’s beat Salford City in a behind-closed-doors friendly at their training ground, having also found the net in the win at Oxford City on Friday night.

United are 19 days from their Sky Bet League One opener at Cambridge United, but even at this stage Taylor can see a difference to last summer.

In 2020, the U’s had just four weeks between their play-off final defeat to Wycombe Wanderers and the first day of pre-season, compared to a six-week break this year.

Taylor said: “The slightly longer break has mentally and physically refreshed us and everyone’s come back hungry and ready to kick on.

“Everyone’s getting personal bests in the running and we’ve signed a few more athletic players.

Match report: Oxford United beat Salford in friendly

“The group’s looking good and I’m sure the gaffer will add a few more.”

The 31-year-old added: “It felt like the right amount of time, whereas it probably came a bit quick last year after the disappointment of the final.

“It was still fresh in everyone’s minds, maybe there’s a bit more of a spring in the step already.

“We’ll be looking to go one better, we know it’s going to be a hard division.

“We just want to start well and see where it takes us.”

Billy Bodin had his first run-out of pre-season against Salford, playing on the opposite flank to fellow new signing Ryan Williams before both were substituted as part of a raft of changes on the hour.

Taylor played with Bodin at Bristol Rovers between 2015 and 2017 and has high hopes for the two wingers.

He said: “Get him fit and sharp and he’s a quality player.

“I’m excited to play with him again.

“Willo (Williams) looks a threat too and I’m sure they’ll provide lots of goals and assists.”

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Taylor’s goals saw United win 2-1 inside 90 minutes, before their youngsters took over for an extra 45.

The U’s found the net four times without reply, thanks to Adam Smith’s header and a hat-trick from 16-year-old striker Gatlin O’Donkor.

Taylor said: “I remember when I was his (O’Donkor’s) age, all you want to do is score goals and impress.

“He works hard, puts himself about and it’s good for the club that we’ve got lots of good youngsters coming through.”