SIMON Eastwood has admitted a weight has been lifted from his shoulders now the January transfer window has closed.

For the first time in his career the goalkeeper found himself at the centre of speculation, with Oxford United turning down a £350,000 bid from Barnsley.

There were times last month when Eastwood thought he would be sold to the Sky Bet Championship club, which had the added attraction of being close to family in Huddersfield.

It made for a testing few weeks, but United’s determination to keep him, plus the vocal calls for the 28-year-old to stay from the supporters at games last month, meant a lot.

He said: “It was the Walsall game and in the warm-up they were singing.

“It was a surreal experience and it shows how much the fans have taken to me here and that can only be a good thing.

“The fact I haven’t left in this transfer window, you can look at it in two ways.

“It’s a good thing Oxford rate you so highly, it’s good for me personally I’ve found somewhere that I’m valued.”

He added: “It was almost a relief (when the window closed) – it had been going on for so long that you just want to know either way.

“It goes back and forth day-in, day-out and you don’t know what’s happening at times.

“I’ve never really been in a situation like that where it comes out in the press that a club wants to buy you.

“As a player it’s quite tough, you don’t know if you’re coming or going. January goes on for so long and there’s so much back and forth between clubs.

“There are days you think you’re leaving and playing is a different experience because you don’t know if it’s going to be your last game.

“But I love it here and I’m more than happy for it to carry on.”

While a move to Oakwell would have been tough to turn down, Eastwood played through the speculation and did not agitate for a move.

He said: “I’d like to think I’ve been professional all the way through.

“I don’t agree with what some people do to try to get out of a club, but sometimes it works for them.

“That’s not the person I am.”