Ashley Nadesan is back at Fleetwood Town and ready to fight for a spot in the first team.
The striker netted nine times while on loan at League Two side Carlisle United in the first half of the season.
Despite interest from Carlisle, other League Two clubs and non-league sides, the 24-year-old has been told by Joey Barton that he has a chance to compete for a spot in his starting XI.
The forward is out of contract at the end of the summer but Nadesan says Barton has told him that he is in his plans with a potential new contract on the horizon.
Having made just one league substitute appearance under Uwe Rosler – in the 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in August 2017 – he is relishing the chance to make his debut as Oxford United head to Highbury.
He said: “As soon as I walked through the door, the gaffer talked to me and said as long as I am contracted at Fleetwood I will be in his plans to play until either the contract gets sorted out or the summer and see what the future holds there.
“I had a good experience at Carlisle. Hopefully I can bring that here and push for the starting XI like the gaffer has told me.”
If Nadesan appears for Town on Saturday, it means that he would only be able to feature for Carlisle again this season – thus limiting his options should it come to any move away from Highbury.
Having been on loan at Carlisle, Nadesan says he is coming back a better player.
He said: “I feel I learned a bit more about myself, being a bit bigger, stronger, versatile in different positions because I was playing as a target man up front which is not probably my best game.
“It is more off the shoulder and behind but then it changed to a right-winger sort of role and I feel like I profited from that to get a few assists and goals.
“I feel like I have matured and I know the game a lot better than I did when I first came here.”
Nadesan could make his first league start with Ched Evans starting a two-match ban for using abusive language towards referee Brett Huxtable in the pre-Christmas 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers.
United are in the bottom four while Town sit 11th in League One but Nadesan is expecting a tough test as Town aim to bounce back from their FA Cup loss against AFC Wimbledon last time out.
He said: “They have had tough games.
“They do not go in as underdogs but I feel like we need to make Highbury a fortress again and push on.
“We are just looking to push on from our disappointing result on Saturday and turn it into three points.
“Everyone is gutted about last week’s result and they are all raring to push on.”