KARL Robinson celebrated a hard-fought three points as Oxford United bounced back from a tough few days to beat Fleetwood Town 3-1.

The U’s were down to the bare bones after a Covid outbreak forced eight players to isolate, seven of them with the virus.

It meant they could only name five substitutes for the Sky Bet League One clash, while Connal Trueman’s arrival on an emergency goalkeeper loan was announced only an hour before kick-off.

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But United went 2-0 up inside 13 minutes through Luke McNally and Cameron Brannagan, before Nathan Holland’s classy second-half strike rewarded a battling display.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” an exhausted Robinson said.

“I know I demand an awful lot, but it’s only because we care.

“When we care it comes across, in defeat it hurts and in victory it’s joyous.

“Sometimes you’re quite calm when you win a game of football, but I’m going to enjoy that.

"That’s a win that is well and truly deserved.”

Fleetwood’s Jay Matete halved the deficit five minutes before the break, but United regained the initiative in the second half.

Robinson added: “I don’t know where they found that from, I can’t ask anymore of my players.”

United’s main problem since postponing Saturday’s trip to Wigan Athletic was sourcing a goalkeeper, with Jack Stevens, Simon Eastwood and Kie Plumley all ill or isolating.

The deal to bring in Trueman from Birmingham City was all-but completed the night before and the 25-year-old went straight into the XI.

“I said a massive 'thank you', he showed tremendous maturity,” said Robinson.

“I was coaching him in the warm-up to tell him what we’re looking for.”

The man himself has only played one game this season, back in August, but put in an assured performance to help United climb to seventh in League One.

Trueman said: “As soon as I got the call that there was interest it was a ‘yes’.

“I want to play football as much as possible and for a club like this it’s a no-brainer.

“I thought we were excellent, from the back line all the way to the forwards.

“I wouldn’t have been able to tell they’re a makeshift team, because I thought they were superb.”