DES Buckingham credited Owen Dale’s character and work ethic, which have allowed the winger to become an instant hit with Oxford United’s supporters.

The 25-year-old joined the U’s on January deadline day, signing from Blackpool for an undisclosed fee.

Dale’s visible passion on the pitch has endeared himself quickly to the United faithful, and head coach Buckingham never had any doubts that the wide man wouldn’t seamlessly settle in with the U’s.

READ ALSO: Owen Dale on becoming a fans’ favourite at Oxford United

He said: “When we looked to recruit him, we were looking for a certain type of winger. He fitted that profile in terms of how we wanted to play, so he was always going to fit into the team, which is key and helps him because he comes in and plays.

“When you look for players, you look for the character of the player as well, and he’s a player where I think you could put him in any environment, and he’d cope quite well.

“People can see the work he does. We speak about Mark Harris, who works himself into the ground.

“People that work and that work ethic, that’s what people want to see here.”

Dale came through the academy at Crewe Alexandra, and scored 15 goals in 109 appearances for the Cheshire side.

He joined Blackpool, initially on loan with an option to buy, in September 2021. Including when he signed permanently the following January, Dale netted six times in 47 games for the Seasiders.

He spent last season on loan at Portsmouth, and played 50 times for the south coast club.