KARL Robinson was thrilled his absence did not prevent Oxford United claiming a valuable victory over Shrewsbury Town.

The U’s head coach watched the 2-0 win from home while waiting for the result of a PCR test, after a lateral flow test on Monday returned a positive swab.

Assistant manager Craig Short and club captain John Mousinho took charge for the night, but Robinson was in phone contact with the United bench through coach Leon Blackmore-Such and addressed the players at half-time.

Read the match report here

The hosts improved on a poor opening 45 minutes after the break and goals from Mark Sykes and Cameron Brannagan sealed victory.

Robinson is preparing to miss Saturday’s trip to Burton Albion and next Tuesday’s home game against Tottenham Under 21s and admits he is yet to warm to watching from afar.

Asked if he enjoyed the experience, he said: “No, but I’ve got to get used to it because I’ve got the next couple of games like this.

“The result cheered me up no end.

“The coverage was a bit behind and the Zoom wasn’t working in my office, so I had to go onto the phone.

“You should see my calls, I must have rang Leon 15 to 20 times in each half.

“It was important to grind out a result, Plymouth (on Saturday) was a good performance but a bad result.

“I’m really proud of the clean sheet.”

Short insisted before the game that Robinson’s absence would not disrupt United and revealed the head coach still made his presence known at the interval.

The U's No 2 said: “We put him on loudspeaker, he was calmer on the phone than he is in the dressing room.

“He had a few stern-ish words with them, but it was just to pick them up.”

United’s only shot on target before the break was a Matty Taylor goal that was disallowed for offside.

But Sykes found the net within 60 seconds of the restart to take his tally to three this season – already his best return for a campaign with the U's.

And the midfielder maintained United were not going to use Robinson's absence as an excuse.

He added: “Everyone knows their jobs in this team, we’ve played pretty much the same way for a long time.

“Even when the manager’s not here, we all know what we’re doing anyway.

“It’s quite easy to speak over the phone, so it’s not as if the manager needs to be here to get his message across.”