IVO Pekalski is doing everything possible to make his mark at Oxford United before the end of the season.

The midfielder (left) joined in August, but only made his first appearance in a U’s shirt on Tuesday – in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Queens Park Rangers.

Recovering from a second cruciate knee ligament injury of his career has been tough, particularly given it came during his first training session after being signed on a two-year deal from Halmstads.

United want Pekalski, who lasted an hour against QPR, to play another couple of friendly games before he is considered for the first team.

With only two months of the season remaining, it does not give him long to get up to speed.

The 27-year-old knows it will be difficult to show U’s supporters his best form in this campaign, but that remains the target.

“Of course I want to make an impact,” he said.

“But at the same time you have to be realistic and you can’t get carried away with your thoughts.

“This injury is a major one. One of the biggest players in Sweden, Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), was back after seven months and played but then he dropped out again. Now it’s 11 months.

“I’m at six or seven months in total.

“You just have to listen to the knee. If you force it then it’s easy to get a backlash and then you have to work even longer.

“That said, I’m doing everything I can to get there.”

While there were no points on offer in the 2-2 draw at QPR, just getting back on the pitch in a game was a significant milestone for Pekalski.

He said: “Of course I’m happy.

“Relief? Maybe not yet but it’s a good mark for everything I’ve put in during six and a half months.

“It’s a big step, especially mentally – to feel that you have opponents around you and just to build up that trust to get more comfortable every second you’re on the pitch.”

As someone born and bred in Sweden, you might think Pekalski would not be troubled by the snow and ice which has forced the postponement of today’s home game with Fleetwood Town.

But a first taste of an English winter has provided its own problems.

He said: “Up north in Sweden there’s much more (snow), but for where I’m from in the south this is probably more or less the same, although you know it’s going to be cold for several months.

“There’s a little bit more switching of the conditions here, it’s trickier to know how to dress.”