CAMERON BRANNAGAN has the potential to play at the highest level in the deeper midfield role, says Karl Robinson.

Oxford United’s No 8 was deployed in that position for Friday’s clash with Lincoln City and was instrumental in a 2-1 win.

The 24-year-old has filled every role in the U’s midfield since returning from a serious eye issue in January, with the last three games a perfect example.

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Brannagan played in one of the two ‘No 8’ positions against Blackpool nine days ago, while he started as a more advanced No 10 at Northampton Town last Tuesday.

But it was his performance at the base of a midfield three in the Lincoln win that drew rave reviews from Robinson.

The U’s head coach said: “I thought he was the best player on the pitch, bar none.

“That kid can go to the top in that position, I really believe that.”

Brannagan moved into the deeper role against Lincoln in Alex Gorrin’s absence and was full of energy.

This was despite the midfielder playing every United game since returning from a rare eye inflammation that saw him miss almost three months of the season.

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A late cameo at Burton Albion on January 2 kicked-off a run of 21 straight matches, with the former Liverpool trainee starting every Sky Bet League One fixture since the 4-3 win over Rochdale on January 26.

That is partly due to United’s crowded treatment room over the last six weeks, with seven players unavailable for the visit of Lincoln.

Some of those, including Sam Long and Elliot Lee, could be back for Friday’s trip to third-placed Sunderland and the whole squad have had the weekend off to recharge.

Robinson, who watched United’s next opponents win 1-0 at Bristol Rovers on Saturday, also revealed injury issues have stopped him playing his favoured XI.

He said: “I know what I think my best team is and I’ve not played it in probably about 12 months.

“Hopefully now we can press the reset button, have a rest and get ourselves ready and raring to go for Friday.”