PEP Clotet said Oxford United began to beat Gillingham last week, with the attitude they showed in training.

The U’s ran out 3-0 winners at the Kassam Stadium, with Jack Payne, Joe Rothwell and Rob Hall on target.

It was a clash of styles, with the hosts deliberately playing out from the back and switching play even more than usual to draw out their defensive opponents.

And Clotet felt they could not make the game plan work without putting in the hours on the training pitch.

The United manager said: “We started to win the game during the week.

“I saw a very good attitude building on the work we did against MK Dons.

“The fact we won and the way we did it is a huge step towards the way we wanted to play.”

He added: “I’m lucky because the attitude of the players is fantastic and they all love to play this kind of football.

“The fact we can support them with proper feedback for them to keep growing is the rewarding part of my job.”

United were forced into a change before the game, with Canice Carroll promoted from the bench after Christian Ribeiro picked up a problem in the warm-up.

Clotet said: “Ribs felt something in his knee during the warm-up and he wasn’t fit enough to play – it would have been a risk.

“I’m sad for him that he couldn’t play because he was in a good moment, but Canice came in and did a perfect match.”

Jon Obika also picked up a problem during the game which forced him off.

But the initial indications were the striker was only suffering from muscle tightness and came off as a precaution.