KARL Robinson was relieved his plan to make wholesale changes at Oxford United paid off as a reshuffled side eased past Coventry City in the Carabao Cup last night.

Marcus Browne and Gavin Whyte, two players making their full debuts for the club, scored to secure a 2-0 victory which puts United in tomorrow’s second-round draw.

It was just what the U’s needed after morale-sapping defeats to Barnsley and Fleetwood Town at the start of the Sky Bet League One season.

Robinson rolled the dice with his selection, making eight changes, which the U’s head coach knew would come in for plenty of criticism if the ploy had backfired.

He said: “To make so many changes like we did, we were asking for questions to be asked of me if we didn’t win.

“I knew that, but as a manager you have to take that responsibility on your shoulders.

“They only made three changes. I expected them to make six or seven, but that wasn’t the case and I was a bit fearful before the game.

“But the players really stood up to be counted.”

There were encouraging displays across the pitch, while Robinson even handed a debut to 16-year-old Fabio Lopes in the second half.

But he was particularly enthused with Browne, on-loan from West Ham United, who opened the scoring with his first senior goal.

The forward, who is still working his way back to full fitness after a knee injury in pre-season, stood out and Robinson was especially pleased with his work rate.

Robinson said: “Marcus Browne ran 40 yards and made a tremendous tackle in front of me and 30 seconds later he scores.

“He doesn’t score the goal without that tackle.

“He could be one of the best players I’ve worked with. He has power, pace, energy, a wonderful right foot – and a great header as well.”

It was also a good night for academy graduate Shandon Baptiste, who held his own in central midfield.

And the 20-year-old believes the result would do the squad the world of good after a disappointing start to the season.

He said: “It makes a big difference because now we’re going to be on a high going into the league.

“After two defeats everyone was a bit down, but now we can go into the league on a high. Coventry are a League One team, so we’ve got nothing to fear.

“We showed the fans this is how we want to play this season. Hopefully we can continue it.”