ALL Jack Payne wants for the festive period is to help keep Oxford United within sight of the Sky Bet League One play-off places.

Pep Clotet’s men narrowed the gap to sixth place to four points with a goalless draw at Rochdale last weekend.

They now face four games in ten days, a hectic period which includes the visit of leaders Wigan Athletic on Saturday and a trip to fourth-placed Bradford City.

With a dozen points up for grabs, United could force their way into contention with a happy Christmas.

Equally, a poor run could see them start 2018 well adrift of the play-off race and leave a mid-table slog at best for the second half of the season.

For Payne, the key is to ensure United – who are four games unbeaten – come out the other side of this run of games still in sight of sixth place.

He said: “It’s the busiest period of the season and we have built up a bit of momentum.

“We just want to keep going and pick up as many points as we can.

“I’m buzzing, I can’t wait.

“There’s loads of games coming up and loads of opportunities for myself and the team to pick up points.

“We’ll see where we are after that because we’re only four points off.

“As long as we’re close come January, we’ve got a chance of pushing on to the end of the season and getting into the play-offs.”

United’s position in the top half of the table owes much to Payne, who has been their stand-out performer this campaign.

Keeping him for the full duration of the season-long loan is paramount, but next month Huddersfield Town do have the option of recalling the 23-year-old.

The good news is Payne has not heard from his parent club about curtailing the arrangement early.

And the midfielder reiterated his desire to stay with United until May.

He said: “I can’t see anything happening.

“It’s only in a few weeks, so I’d imagine I would’ve heard something by now (if a recall was on the cards) and I can’t see it happening.

“If they ask me for my thoughts, I’d just say I was happy here and enjoying my football.

“I came here to play regularly and that’s what I’m doing in a team which plays good football.

“I’ve managed to get some assists and goals and I need to keep pushing on and producing the same.”