KARL Robinson says the importance of Oxford United's win over Lincoln City should not be underestimated.

The U's knew three points at the Kassam Stadium would put them seventh in Sky Bet League One, only outside of the play-offs on goal difference before this afternoon's games.

But when Anthony Scully put fourth-placed Lincoln ahead inside four minutes it looked like United could be heading for a third defeat in six days.

Read the match report here

The U's responded brilliantly, though, with goals from Anthony Forde - his first touch after coming on for the injured Josh Ruffels - and Matty Taylor either side of half-time sealing a 2-1 victory.

Lincoln had to change in one of the South Stand lounges following two positive Covid tests in the build-up and Robinson revealed it allowed United to fully celebrate a significant win.

The U's head coach said: “I let the players put the music on in the dressing room (at full-time).

"I’m not one for that because I don’t like rubbing it in.

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"But Lincoln weren’t anywhere near and there’s a real sense of how important that win was to the players."

In the build-up, Robinson spoke about how United were splitting the final ten matches of the season into two five-game blocks, with a points target for each.

The Lincoln win started the first batch positively ahead of Friday's trip to Sunderland.

“This wasn’t down for three points, so it’s a good start," the U's boss said.

“You know you’re going to one of the hardest away games of the season at Sunderland.

"If you lose this game you lose three on the spin.

"We’ve nipped that in the bud, we can go there for a free hit knowing on the Monday we’ve got Accrington back here.

"We’ve got two massive games coming up."

Watch: Highlights of last night's game

Although Covid, injuries and unavailability meant Lincoln were missing seven players, United were further depleted by injuries to Alex Gorrin and Rob Hall before the game.

They were then hit by Ruffels sustaining his knee injury after a 27th-minute shot, but Robinson confirmed the left back ‘should be okay’ - and praised his side's resilience.

He said: "It was a blow to us losing Ruffs, but we coped with that really well.

"Jamie Hanson showed what a really good defender he is.

"We drool over Brandon Barker and Mide (Shodipo)’s marvellous ability to dribble at people and take people on, but these people are special talents out of possession as well.

"They’re starting to develop that side of their game, that’s what they’re here (on loan) for."

One player who has left United's treatment room is James Henry, who managed 65 minutes in his first game since injuring his hamstring at MK Dons on February 27.

Robinson made a big call in bringing on Leon Chambers-Parillon for only his fifth appearance, with the more-established Liam Kelly on the bench.

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But the U's head coach thought the 19-year-old coped really well.

He said: “Having Jamo back in the middle of the park with his experience is really key to us.

“I’m really proud of young Leon – people keep questioning why you do that, but this football club’s about the development of young people.

“I thought he made a difference when he came on.

“We talk about the biggest player we’re missing is Marcus McGuane because he can run and he fills that void short-term for us.”

One moment of controversy saw Jack Stevens booked for bringing down Lincoln's Harry Anderson outside the box two minutes before the break.

Robinson was convinced the Imps forward was offside, while visiting boss Michael Appleton thought the decision was marginal.

“I think potentially the keeper would have been sent off if his touch hadn’t been so heavy," the ex-U's manager told Lincolnshire Live.

“The best spell they had was in the 15 minutes after their goal.

"Apart from that we were really comfortable and I thought we were the better team.

“For me to say that - with as many players out as we have, and players with attacking intent too - was pleasing.”