READJUSTING to regular first-team football has been a tougher process than expected for Luke Garbutt, but the full back believes he is now on track.

The 25-year-old was one of Oxford United’s biggest-name signings this summer, arriving on loan from Everton.

At the time boss Karl Robinson felt Garbutt should have been out of reach for a Sky Bet League One club, but for the left back it was all about getting back to playing regularly again.

His U’s debut at Barnsley last month ended a 20-month wait for a competitive senior game.

In that context, Garbutt was prepared for a bumpy start, but not quite to the extent he would be dropped from United’s starting XI after just four games.

“Did I imagine it to be as tough as it has been? Probably not, but that’s life,” he said.

“You’ve just got to bounce back from that and move on.”

The process of rebuilding confidence began in cup games.

Ten days after being taken off an hour into United’s 4-1 mauling at Portsmouth, Garbutt returned to set up two goals in the Carabao Cup win at Newport.

He contributed to another 3-0 victory, this time in the Checkatrade Trophy against Fulham Under 21s, before returning to league action as a late substitute against Coventry City, setting up a goal in the 2-1 defeat.

That, plus Robinson noticing him “training like a demon”, earned a recall to the League One starting line-up last weekend at Wycombe Wanderers.

And helping United claim their first clean sheet of the league campaign has done the former England Under 21 international the power of good.

He said: “As a footballer if you’re confident the rest will follow.

“It’s like anything in life, if you’re confident you’ll do well. I think the whole squad is turning a corner hopefully and we can push on.”