KARL Robinson was delighted a change of approach worked for Oxford United as they claimed a battling point against Rotherham United.

The U’s had ten players missing through injury or illness, with seven still isolating after testing positive for Covid, for the visit from the Sky Bet League One leaders.

Both teams also had to deal with strong winds whirling around the Kassam Stadium, but United stood firm in the face of Rotherham’s first-half pressure.

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They attacked more after the break and arguably finished strongest to take four points during a difficult week off the pitch.

United were not as free-flowing as they have been at home this season, but Robinson felt needs must.

The U’s head coach said: “People who come and watch us regularly won’t recognise us, but people will appreciate this was a windy old day.

“Our game-plan when we kicked into the wind was to delay the game as often as we possibly can.

“It was a very honest, hard-working fair point.

“We knew they were going to come out strong and we felt if we got through the first 15 or 20 minutes of the secondhalf we’d finish the game stronger.

“We knew they’d been to Ipswich on Tuesday, we hoped the longer the game went that would start taking some sort of toll on their legs.

“I thought we looked bright finishing the game off.

“To have so many players out and put in four points is a perfect return from these players.”

Former U’s boss Brian Horton was watching on as the club’s special guest for the day and Robinson felt his predecessor would have approved.

He said: “I was speaking to Brian Horton before the game and I’m sure he was rubbing his hands together, because that was the type of performance he loved.

“We were talking about styles and formations and he looked at me and said: ‘It’s all about the desire and the grit’.

“It certainly was about that today.

“I don’t think you’ve seen that very often from our players.”

The performance was typified by Jamie Hanson’s crunching second-half tackle on Mickel Miller, which left the Rotherham wing-back on the floor and drew a roar from the crowd.

Robinson added: “I had an argument with their staff because if that was one of Warney’s (Paul Warne) players doing it, they’d be saying ‘great tackle’.

“We’ve gone away from tackles like that, it was unbelievable.

“At no stage was he out of control, it was firm, it was fair, but if that was on the reverse I’d be asking for a booking.

“The noise it made – Shorty (assistant manager Chris Short) punched the air.”