RUBEN Rodrigues thanked his Oxford United teammates for a pair of delightful assists, as he claimed a brace in the 5-0 demolition of Peterborough United.

Mark Harris and Josh Murphy had already put the U’s 2-0 in front when Rodrigues grabbed his first goal, following a brilliant run and cross down the left from Murphy.

Rodrigues got his second goal of the afternoon when he dived in to head home after Fin Stevens bent in a wicked right-wing cross.

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“Murph always likes to put it hard across to Sparky [Harris] on the second post, and I always like a cutback because the way I play, I can’t be at the second post,” said Rodrigues.

“When he cut it back, he put it perfectly for me, and I just had to pass it home.

“With the second one, I know how good Fin’s cross is, so as soon as I saw the ball coming back from Owen [Dale], I just sprinted into the area where the gaffer wants me.

“The header was good and I got lucky that the ball was where I wanted it to be, and I don’t think the defender expected me to be there.

“I was buzzing that he let it go, and I just headed it home.”

Oxford Mail:

With no Cameron Brannagan to call upon against the Posh, Josh McEachran came into the United starting line-up, and was fantastic in his screening of the back four, while beginning many of the U’s counter-attacks.

Rodrigues said: “We know how good he is, with all the experience he has. He and Cameron Brannagan are two very different players.

“He’s more calm and likes to stay in position, and win second balls. I think he picked up every second ball, and when he gets it, he’s easy and calm.

“Even though he’s being pressed, he’s so calm, and I was more nervous when he was on the ball than he is. He’s so good.”

Rodrigues has found himself in a new role for United in recent weeks, as head coach Des Buckingham switched to a 4-3-3 system with two advanced midfielders in front of a single six.

“It’s a lot of running box-to-box, and defending a lot, but I’m on the pitch so I can’t complain,” said Rodrigues.

“I’m really enjoying it, and being amongst the goals is something every player dreams of.

“I set a target for 10, so one more and I’ll hit my target.”

He added: “We’re winning a lot of second balls, and today we defended in a midfield three next to each other because we knew good [Ephron] Mason-Clark and [Kwame] Poku are.

“We had to double up on them and I think we kept them quite quiet. We did well against them because they are great players.”