KARL Robinson believes Oxford United's victory over Southend United will have lifted a weight off the shoulders of everyone connected with the club.

James Henry's early strike at the Kassam Stadium gave the U's a lead which was doubled in first-half stoppage-time when Ricardinho's cross was turned in by Southend defender John White.

It secured a 2-0 win which took United to 50 points in Sky Bet League One.

Although it only preserved their five-point advantage over the relegation zone, without the win the U's would have been deep in trouble.

Head coach Robinson, who was toasting his first win in charge, said: "It's a relief, I think.

"It’s nice to get the win, but more so for the fans and the players.

"We were on fire for the first 15 minutes.

"We felt it was important to get on the front foot and I’m pleased for the players.

"It was a great game to watch, although it wasn’t great for the manager.

"They had too many chances for my liking, but we had again a number we didn’t take.

"This could have been three or four, but they missed three or four as well."

Henry's strike came seconds after United had appeals for a goal waved away when Ryan Ledson's header was kept out by goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

The goalscorer felt it had crossed the line, but made sure there were no doubts when a chance came his way.

He said: "It was definitely in, I was at the front post so I was across the line.

"From where I was I thought it was a stonewall goal, but they missed it and we managed to carry on and luckily we got the goal, otherwise we would have felt a little bit hard done by.

"I just saw a little bit of an opening, managed to drive into it and got a pot shot away which went in the bottom corner."

United were also boosted by the return in the second half of skipper Curtis Nelson, who had been out since November after rupturing an Achilles tendon.

He said: "It was a great result for the team and on a personal note it was nice to be coming back before the end of the season.

"I’d written it off in November, so to be coming back now is really good. 

"(The win) was huge.

"Three points is good whatever the time of the season it is. We’re just really happy."