KARL Robinson is desperate to maintain the upbeat mood at the Kassam Stadium after Oxford United delivered against another promotion contender.

Although the U’s were trailing until Marcus Browne’s 87th-minute equaliser, they had by far the best of the 1-1 draw.

It was played out in front of 10,383 spectators, United’s largest crowd since Boxing Day 2016.

The result came hot on the heels of a victory against Portsmouth and draw with Barnsley, helping the U’s build a home record fitting for a top-half side.

And with another promotion hopeful, Peterborough United, visiting this weekend, Robinson wants more.

“We have to keep this stadium rocking,” he said.

“When the fans are like this they make a big difference.

“We moan about this place sometimes but weirdly in recent games here the atmosphere and our home form has been very good.

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“We’ve taken five points from these three games, but it should have been an awful lot more.

“Hopefully we can keep this place – dare I say it – as a fortress.”

United have fallen flat in front of big home crowds in the past, but unquestionably rose to the occasion against the Black Cats.

The visitors were grateful to goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin for three excellent saves as the hosts enjoyed long spells of control.

For Robinson, it was the pick of his 54 games in charge.

He said: “It may be a big statement, but that was probably the best performance since I’ve been here.

“All-round – substitutions, defensively we looked strong, we were aggressive.”

The point lifted the side out of the Sky Bet League One drop zone, but their lowly position means many have yet to be won over by Robinson.

But the U’s boss stressed how badly everyone wanted to turn fortunes around.

He said: “We’re very passionate people and if that comes over in a way people see as being wrong, we apologise for that.

“But we really care for your football club. We all do.

“Samir Carruthers went mad when we scored, Marcus Browne went crazy with Jerome (Sinclair).

“These are loan players, but it does mean something to us and we really do care for the future of the club as well.”