HUDDERSFIELD can say they have played their part if Oxford live up to pre-season expectations.

The U's, under former Leeds number two Pep Clotet, are another side highly fancied to be in the promotion mix. They have certainly started pretty well in sixth spot after crushing Gillingham 3-0 at the weekend.

A driving force behind their good early form has been on-loan Terriers midfielder Jack Payne.

His six league appearances so far have yielded a goal and five assists – with three more in the cup.

As he prepares to face West Yorkshire rivals City tonight, Payne believes Oxford are only getting started.

He said: "We're getting good results and I think the longer we're together, the better we'll get. I think the future is bright this season. We've got some great players and the manager works hard with us. It's exciting."

Centre half John Mousinho became Clotet's 14th signing when he arrived late on deadline day from Burton. He made his debut in Saturday's clean sheet.

Oxford fell short of the play-offs last season with Michael Appleton but it is a very different line-up now. They also lost star man Marvin Johnson, who played for Stuart McCall at Motherwell, to Middlesbrough.

Yet Payne can sense the momentum is building. They scored three goals in eight minutes to dismantle Gillingham's resistance.

He said: "It is fun and you can feel it during the game when things are going right for you. We know once we get one goal, we'll get another and then another."

City unlocked a previously mean defence at Peterborough and must do the same tonight against an Oxford side who have conceded just three times. Only Scunthorpe have let in less in League One.

Former Bantams loanee Simon Eastwood is enjoying a quieter time in goal. He said: "It's nice to go through some games and not be spoken about. Then you know you're doing all right; your normal six or seven out of ten."