JEROME Sinclair was happy to put the team first as the striker’s home debut brought a precious assist for Oxford United.

The striker came off the bench to set up Marcus Browne’s 87th-minute equaliser against Sunderland.

Having got into the box and beaten a defender, it would have been easy for the Watford loanee to go for glory himself.

But Sinclair chose the unselfish option and gave fellow substitute Browne a simple finish.

He said: “I was really going to put my foot through it, but I saw him make the run and I managed to square it.

“An open goal was more important for the team.

“It can be tough coming off the bench in a game played at that speed, but we managed to adjust well and combined to get the goal in the end.”

Read again - Oxford United's home form encourages boss Karl Robinson

The contribution also went some way to explaining why United were interested in signing Sinclair last month.

A return of one league goal in 32 appearances does not look promising, but boss Karl Robinson argued that statistic did not tell the full story.

He said: “When we signed him people said ‘look at his goal record, it’s not very good’.

“That’s why, he’s not like an Aldo (John Aldridge). Would he have passed that? No chance, he would have put his foot through it.

“That’s why Jerome doesn’t score the goals for his talent, because he’s a more rounded striker.

“The way the academies develop young strikers now they’re not as greedy. There’s a greater team ethic.”

It was certainly an improvement on his first act as a U’s player – a

mis-kick which saw him fall over in the box against Burton a week earlier.

Sinclair said: “That was one of those moments where you just have to laugh if off and say ‘it can’t get any worse from there’.”