Oxford manager Karl Robinson hailed his high-flying team’s fightback triumph as they climbed to third in League One with a 3-2 victory at 10-man Shrewsbury.
Robinson admitted he was not happy with how his side started the game and Shrewsbury opened up a 2-0 lead inside 34 minutes through Daniel Udoh and Callum Lang.
The hosts then had Josh Vela sent off for a second bookable offence and Oxford made their extra man count.
Marcus Browne reduced the deficit for the visitors on the stroke of half time before substitute Dan Agyei pulled the visitors level with a fine strike and Josh Ruffels headed a late winner.
Robinson said: “They’re a great group of people and we’ve got good players all over the football pitch. We know on any given day we can score a number of goals – and that’s always going to be a way with this team.
“But the way we started the first 20 minutes, I’m not happy with. If we do that in other games, in bigger games, against teams who are up and in around you, you’re going to find yourself not just two down, three or four down, a bit like we did against Peterborough, and then all of a sudden you’re chasing the game.”
Robinson highlighted how his team stayed calm to register a fifth successive league win as they cut the gap to second-placed Rotherham to two points.
“We were quite calm,” added Robinson. “I think we’ve spoke quite a lot about being calm, regardless of whatever’s going on around you. I thought we kept our discipline superbly well.
“I thought you’ve got to give tremendous credit to Shrewsbury. The first 20 minutes we were kicking into quite a strong wind and they over committed in certain areas and made it very, very difficult for us to get anywhere near their goal, but when we did get near their goal we asked the question.”
Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts was left frustrated by the 35th-minute dismissal of Vela by referee Sebastian Stockbridge for two bookable offences.
“It’s our foul,” said Ricketts, of the second booking picked up by the midfielder “If you watch it back their player has come through straight-footed waist-high on Josh Vela.
“Josh doesn’t know he’s there, trying to hook the ball on, catches Josh.
“Somehow not only does the foul not go our way, he then books Josh for a second bookable offence when the first booking for Josh isn’t.”
Ricketts had earlier been encouraged with much of what he had seen from his side with Udoh, Lang and Jason Cummings causing Oxford problems.
He added: “I thought the players were very, very good. We set up this week on how we wanted to play and what we were trying to do and really take the game to Oxford – and deservedly 2-0 up, could have been more.
“We had some really good chances, creating chances, looking threatening an awful lot with Jase, Dan – who I thought was outstanding – and obviously Langy.”