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WES Thomas is delighted his fresh start is going to plan after the striker’s brace beat Hull City 2-1 to round off Oxford United’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.

The 30-year-old tapped in from close range just after the half-hour mark to open the scoring in Albufeira.

And he doubled his tally by slotting in Canice Carroll’s perfect pass early in the second half.

United put bodies on the line to keep the Sky Bet Championship side out, but Adama Diomande pulled a goal back in the 74th minute.

It was not the start of a comeback, though, as Pep Clotet’s side held on to deliver a victory for the hundreds of noisy travelling supporters.

While it came with three weeks still to go before the start of the League One season, Thomas was thrilled to be hitting his stride after a tight groin forced him to miss Wednesday’s goalless draw against Middlesbrough.

And having spent seven months out recovering from a snapped Achilles tendon which wrecked his first season at United, the former Birmingham City frontman is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “I’m grateful to be back scoring goals, but I’ve always believed I can do it.

“When you’ve been out for so long it’s just nice to be on the pitch.

“Even in pre-season I’ve had a smile on my face and I hate pre-season. I’m happy to be back.

“I wasn’t able to play in the first game this week because my groin was a bit tight, but I got 60 minutes under my belt and two goals, so I’m on the right path.

“I got a bit of stick for the first goal, but you’ve got to be in the right position to put it away. I’m as happy with that one as the second one – I’ll take 20 of them this season.

“There are no points on the board but it is nice to get wins under our belt and take that mentality into the season.”

U’s boss Pep Clotet again praised his squad’s collective effort, which made the difference against a side who were in the Premier League last season.

He said: “I’m pleased because the team worked very hard, especially in the first half to block Hull, who started very strongly.

“We had to create a few problems offensively.

“I’m happy because the team did that and Wes put the icing on the cake, but it was a team effort.”

Hull boss Leonid Slutsky had no complaints.

He said: “Oxford were a good team and I congratulate them.

“It was a deserved win.”

“But more important were our problems. We would have had a problem with any team.”