PEP Clotet highlighted the control Oxford United had on the game as the most encouraging aspect of their display at Oldham Athletic.

Goals from Wes Thomas and Josh Ruffels secured a 2-0 win which meant the Spaniard is the first permanent U’s boss to win his opening competitive game since Darren Patterson in 2007.

Although there are elements which the manager felt need improving, Clotet admitted he could not have wanted more.

He said: “Being part of a team that managed to come to Oldham on the first game and find a victory where you keep a clean sheet and put in a strong display tactically and physically, I couldn’t have hoped for a better start.

“Oldham are dangerous and can create a problem straight away with the two strikers moving in the way they do.

“But we managed to keep our heads cool and stick to the plan, knowing sooner or later we would have the chance to kill the game.

“That makes me happy.”

The visitors were backed by more than 1,000 supporters who had battled motorway closures to make the 340-mile round trip. Clotet saluted their role in the result.

He said: “I’m not someone who can dedicate the victory to anyone because that is for the players, but I’m sure they would dedicate it to the fans.

“They got up early, and came here to a real football fight, they were on our side and it’s fantastic.

“You have to always keep it balanced because we’re going to lose as well.

“We try to do better every day, so when there is a bad time we stay together. I’m sure the fans will be with this team because they are giving them 100 per cent commitment.”

The one sour note was news that Charlie Raglan’s ankle injury may be more serious than initially thought.

United will get full details later this week.