OXFORD United’s January transfer window strategy paid off as they landed three players on deadline day.

Joe Grayson, Elliot Lee and Brandon Barker all joined the U’s on loan until the end of the season, from Blackburn Rovers, Luton Town and Rangers respectively.

It saw Karl Robinson strengthen his squad on the left side of defence and out wide in attack – two areas he had prioritised as most in need of reinforcements.

United did not make their first signing of the window until Luke McNally arrived on Friday afternoon, but the head coach insisted a dramatic final 24 hours was not an accident.

Transfer deadline day: as it happened

Robinson said: “What we’ve done in this window is exactly what we hoped to do in the last one.

“We waited and waited, in the hope we wouldn’t turn our cards over too soon.

“In the last one, we got left with one or two options and only brought in Mide Shodipo.

“Everyone’s worked extremely hard to do what we’ve done.”

The U’s went into the day with McNally the only arrival, which came hours before Jordan Obita’s move to Wycombe Wanderers.

Sean Clare and Joel Cooper had also left on loan, but United sealed three temporary signings in the final nine hours of the window.

Read also: Oxford United sign Joe Grayson

Grayson, son of Fleetwood Town boss Simon, arrived first, with the 21-year-old brought in as cover on the left side of defence.

United then announced the signing of 26-year-old Luton Town forward Lee, who won Sky Bet League One with The Hatters in 2018/19.

Read also: Elliot Lee joins Oxford United

Rumours of a move for Rangers winger Barker had been flying around all day, but the deal was only confirmed on the dot of the 11pm deadline.

Several clubs were in for the former Manchester City trainee, who can operate on either flank, and Robinson admitted he was surprised to land the 24-year-old.

Read also: Oxford United sign Brandon Barker

He said: “Brandon’s an incredible talent – I’m really shocked we got this one done.

“I didn’t think he was ever within our reach.

“Brandon was No 1 on our list, but the one we thought we weren’t going to get.

“In the last three or four days it escalated into a possibility.”

Robinson confirmed United are still under the £2.5million salary cap, despite the three deals.

Players aged 21 or under, like Grayson, do not count towards the cap, nor the squad limit of 22.

The U’s entered the window needing to make room for new arrivals, but they leave it with two spaces in their first-team ranks.

Derick Osei, who was not part of United’s registered squad for the first half of the season, joined Walsall on loan until the end of the campaign.

Robinson said: “With all the work that we’ve done, there’s a lot of players in this football club that can be really dominant at the top end of the pitch.

“It’s really high-energy, in front of a solid back four with a goalkeeper that’s getting better.”