OXFORD United’s travelling fans surprised players and staff alike once again as they kicked off their pre-season with a 1-0 win against Portmarnock AFC.

More than 500 supporters saw a competitive game where Cameron Brannagan’s 22nd-minute effort separated the sides.

Just as with previous visits to Austria, Spain and Portugal in the last three summers, the scale of the backing caught newcomers by surprise.

Manager Karl Robinson said: “I’m shocked and humbled by the amount of people who came across, I’ve never seen that before and I’ve been on an awful lot of pre-season tours.

“We’re very fortunate to be associated with Oxford United and we don’t take that lightly.”

U’s owner Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth flew in from Thailand for the game and departs again today, but the turnout made an impact.

He said: “I’ve never seen that kind of passionate fans before – wow.

"After seeing that we have to work even harder.”

Brannagan added: “It’s great, you see the fans singing and they deserve everything they get.

“It’s not easy to come away and it’s very good to see them come out.”