CAMERON Brannagan's performance gave Oxford United boss Karl Robinson cause for encouragement despite the defeat to Sunderland.

The midfielder produced a man-of-the-match display in the 1-0 loss at the Kassam Stadium.

It was a big step forward for the 23-year-old, who has been struggling to regain his form after a knee injury.

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"That was Cameron Brannagan at his best. You see what you miss when he’s not at that level," Robinson said.

"He was the best player on the pitch I thought, he ran the game.

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"We’ve always said the pain would be there for a period of time and you’ve got to find a moment where you’re comfortable with that knee.

"Maybe he’s learned to play with it and is getting more comfortable."