DES Buckingham says Oxford United would consider signing a striker in January to complement Mark Harris if the right opportunity came up.

Harris arrived at United in the summer after leaving Sky Bet Championship side Cardiff City, where he came through the academy and scored 10 goals in 95 appearances across all competitions.

However, 52 of those games were as a substitute, with Harris mainly used as an impact player from the bench while with the Bluebirds.

This season, he has scored six times in 21 matches for the U’s, but just three of those strikes have come in League One.

Harris’ primary competition has come from 19-year-old strikers Gatlin O’Donkor and Sonny Perkins, while Billy Bodin started up front when Harris served a three-game suspension in September.

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Asked whether further support would be sought for Harris in January, United head coach Buckingham told BBC Radio Oxford’s The Dub podcast: “We’ve got two young players in Gats and Sonny, that are here and have shown that they can play.

“The one thing with Mark is that he’s a very good centre forward.

“I think if there’s an opportunity there to, not get someone in to replace him because he was brought here to play, and he’s played extremely well, but someone that can ease that workload and give us different options, it’s not something that we wouldn’t look at.

“That’s not in place of, but in support of.”

Buckingham also offered an insight into how the recruitment process, led by head of recruitment Ed Waldron, is working in the build-up to the January transfer window.

“The recruitment department here, led by Ed, has blown me away,” said Buckingham.

“They presented something to me again last week, where it’s constant, and Ed was away overseas watching a game.

“He was overseas watching and monitoring, and tracking these players, and we’ve got a long list of players in certain positions that we are continually monitoring and tracking, that would be able to come in and make us a better team.

“The next part to that is budget-wise, can we get them, and is it the right fit at the right time?

“In terms of if we needed to make a move, with Joe Bennett being a perfect example of that, those options are already there because the work’s already been pretty much done.

“It’s just making sure then that is it the right time, is it the right type of fit, and does it work for both parties?

“January’s coming up, and we’re having several conversations most days on whether there’s stuff that we need, and where do we need it?

“With Marcus [Browne] and Kyle [Edwards], until we get timeframes, that may influence what we do in those spaces.”