CAMERON Brannagan believes playing alongside Ahmed Kashi is improving his game.

The pair have developed a partnership in central midfield during Oxford United’s recent surge up the Sky Bet League One table.

They are likely to continue at Walsall tomorrow, when Karl Robinson’s side will look for a fourth win on the bounce.

Kashi took time to establish himself after signing on loan from French club Troyes in January, but has become influential.

And Brannagan is in no doubt it is making him a better player.

“Of course,” he said.

“I enjoy playing with Kashi. Technically he’s very good and physically he’s a monster.

“He wants to get on the ball and play and that’s the sort of player I am.

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“For me to do well and be successful I need to be on the ball and playing.

“He’s someone alongside me doing that as well, it’s always a big help.

“He keeps the game simple. I always say the simple thing is the easy thing.

“You don’t have to force things.

“If you keep the team ticking it helps the team.

“I think Kashi’s come in and he’s been great.”

An unassuming presence off the pitch, United players have found Kashi does all his talking once he crosses the white line.

Brannagan said: “He’s a quiet lad and keeps himself to himself.

“I respect him for that, but on the pitch he’s a different person.

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“He understands the game very well and I thrive off that because when he gets on the ball he tells me all the time (what to do) and it helps me.”

United head to Walsall in their best league position for more than a year, having clicked into gear to rocket up the table.

It has seen much of the pressure on the side ease, although they realistically need one more good result to be sure of staying up.

But with six matches still to play, Brannagan wants to finish the campaign in the strongest possible form.

He said: “We’re not looking at anything in particular, we’re just looking to beat Walsall and then go on to the next one.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas, we’ve done nothing yet.

“Everybody’s confident and enjoying themselves.

It’s just a shame it’s come at this stage of the season.

“But it is what it is, we can only look forward and keep winning.

“We’re not going to stop and hopefully we can win on Saturday.”