JOSH Ruffels says it would mean the world to him if on Monday he could help complete a challenge set by Chris Wilder seven years ago.

The left back from Kidlington is now one of the older heads in the Oxford United side which takes on Wycombe Wanderers in the Sky Bet League One play-off final at Wembley.

But he was a teenager with less than 90 minutes of competitive football under his belt when he signed for the U’s following his release by Coventry City in 2013.

Ruffels was joining a side which had finished ninth in League Two for the second successive year, but had ambitions to climb the pyramid.

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And as the only United survivor who played in the promotion-clinching game, also against Wycombe Wanderers, in 2016, the 26-year-old is now one win away from a second success.

He said: “It’s crazy to think when I first came to the club where we were.

“I’ll always remember Wilder saying ‘your challenge is to get us into the Championship’.

“For me to do that after all these years would be incredible and to make history for my home town team would be unbelievable.”

Ruffels started only eight league games in 2015/16 as he was used in a back-up role by then-boss Michael Appleton.

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Four years on he has climbed into United’s top-30 on the all-time list of appearances and is the only player to start every league game this season.

It means he will go into this crunch promotion clash with Wycombe with a very different status to four years ago.

“I was a makeshift left back at that time,” he said.

“I felt fairly fortunate to even be involved in that game.

“But now it’s completely different, I’ve played every game and I’m one of the senior pros now.

“I’d be very proud to play at Wembley and get us promoted to the Championship.”

Wycombe have been the division’s surprise package and will believe their fairytale season has a happy ending.

Ruffels though stressed United are in an identical situation.

“I don’t think anyone backed them to get this far so it’s credit to them, but we’ve done exactly the same,” he said.

“We were close to being relegated last season.

“We would have gone down if this (lockdown) had happened last year, so we have to back ourselves in that sense.”