KARL Robinson was relieved to see his bold selection plan pay off as one of the players rested in midweek became Oxford United’s match-winner at Doncaster Rovers.

The head coach had targeted the clash at the Keepmoat Stadium, so left four senior members of his squad out for the trip to leaders Wigan Athletic.

While they went down 1-0 at the DW Stadium, the quartet were fresh for a Rovers return and James Henry came off the bench to score a goal which virtually assures the U’s safety from relegation.

Robinson said: “As a manager sometimes you have to make brave decisions.

“Sometimes I’ve done it and looked an absolute fool – it doesn’t always work.

“You need a bit of luck and we rode it as well.

“It’s the fans’ job to get involved emotionally, it’s our job to get involved in a more strategic manner with more thought and guile to everything we do.”

The U’s boss demanded another high-intensity display and showed his faith in the players by abandoning the technology used to track their work rate.

He said: “We were in the huddle before the game and I said ‘take your GPS belts off. I don’t care anymore, I trust you as men , let’s go old school’.

“I knew I didn’t need that to show how hard my players were going to work.

“The worst thing is they’ve said ‘now we’ve won can we have them off every week’?”

Despite taking the lead, United had to endure a nervy finale as the home side pushed for an equaliser.

And Robinson admitted to feeling a powerful sense of déjà vu after his visit in February when he was in charge of Charlton Athletic.

He said: “We were winning 1-0, six minutes got added on and Doncaster scored with the last kick of the game.

“I was stood in that same dugout praying it didn’t happen again. I’m so proud of my players and the mentality we had.”