OXFORD United demonstrated game management and an ability to take the sting out of a match during their 2-0 win at Port Vale.

The U’s have seen various teams do the same to them this season, whether it be stalling on the taking of set pieces, or taking their time with substitutions or treatment for injuries.

They’re labelled the so-called darker arts of the game, but it’s not something United have done too much this season, when compared to opposition sides.

Against Vale though, the U’s frustrated their opponents and the home support, by taking their time on set pieces, particularly free kicks in their own defensive third, in order to ease the pressure on them at the back.

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United head coach Des Buckingham said: “Every team we play is very different and do different things.

“It’s making sure we stay in control of what we can, and if the momentum is starting to change in the opposition’s favour, you have a chance as any team does, to gain control.

“We’ve certainly seen elements of that when we needed to. If we needed to speed it up, we were able to, and slow it down like we did in certain parts of the second half.”