TARIQE Fosu was thrilled to be in the right place at the right time when it really mattered on Saturday.

The summer signing opened his Oxford United goalscoring account to earn a 1-1 draw at Sunderland on the opening day of the season.

It turned around what had been a slow start to the afternoon, when the 23-year-old missed the start of the team’s pre-match meeting.

He said: “They said on the Whatsapp group 12.45 but they changed it to 12.30, so I was a bit late.

“But they’re a good group, especially the gaffer, he’s quite funny.”

Boss Karl Robinson, who worked with Fosu during their time at Charlton Athletic, added: “He got fined because he was late for the meeting before, so he was already in a bit of trouble and he had something to prove to me.

“There’s a mystique around Tariqe that people think he’s lazy. He’s not, he’s a great kid.”

Fosu took time to find his feet during pre-season, but really hit the ground running at the Stadium of Light.

The forward was influential in United’s excellent first-half performance, which was capped off by his goal.

He said: “The pass was very good from Ben (Woodburn), but then Jamie Mackie blocked the defender so it gave me a few seconds to take my first touch and get my shot off.

“It happens very quickly, but I think I took it well.

“We had a game plan and stuck to it.

“It worked and it helped me get on the ball to show what I can do.

“It’s always important to start strong.

“I think pre-season helped me a lot and I think I’m getting fitter.

“There’s still more to come, so it will definitely be a good season.”

Having been pegged back by a disputed penalty right at the start of the second half, United had to weather plenty of pressure.

Sunderland showed their strength in depth by bringing on Chris Maguire and Aiden McGeady, but the visitors held firm in front of a crowd in excess of 33,000.

Fosu said: “You have to stay switched on all the time, especially against these big teams.

“It’s relentless with the fans behind them in this atmosphere.

“It’s quite tough, but I think we did well to deal with it.

“We had chances to win and we’ve just got to keep pushing now on to next week.”