DES Buckingham was pleased with an ‘excellent professional performance’ as Oxford United recovered from their midweek thrashing to win at Port Vale.

The U’s were hammered 5-0 at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night, leading to questions about the side’s play-off credentials in Sky Bet League One this season.

However, against a stubborn Valiants side, United put their midweek defeat behind them thanks to goals from Ciaron Brown and Josh Murphy in a 2-0 victory.

U’s head coach Buckingham said: “We asked for a reaction, but not an overreaction. We made some changes and I thought we controlled the game.

“It was an excellent professional performance that deserved three points.

“If we’re being critical, we probably should’ve scored more. We created a lot of chances and should’ve scored more, but we’ve done enough to come away from here with the three points, and that was the most important thing, on top of the performance.”

Buckingham named a bold starting XI at Vale Park, with Cameron Brannagan joined by Billy Bodin and Ruben Rodrigues in the three-man midfield of a 4-3-3 set-up.

“We changed the formation, and we really wanted to get at these, so we changed the formation to suit that,” said Buckingham.

“You have to react to Tuesday, but not make unnecessary change or change for the sake of it.

“We felt the players we put on the field suited our game plan. We weren’t expecting Marcus Browne or Tyler Goodrham, but they reported well after Thursday’s session, and both were made available on Friday.

“Their late inclusion obviously effects others as well, but we wanted to go for a very attacking bench.”

United’s win against Vale lifted them back into the play-off places, in sixth, and two points clear of both Lincoln City and Stevenage.

He added: “We’ve got another three points now and we’re back in the play-off spots, with the other results this weekend.

“We’ve now got an international break to really work on another couple of games where we want to put our best foot forwards, and we’ll see how many points we get from there.”