DEREK Fazackerley was thrilled as Oxford United’s unorthodox Plan C paid off to win a thriller 3-2 at Charlton Athletic.

The caretaker boss had plenty to do in his first Sky Bet League One game in charge, after losing top-scorer Wes Thomas to injury in the warm-up.

Jon Obika replaced him, but then picked up an injury himself.

With no other strikers on the bench, Fazackerley improvised by playing diminutive winger Malachi Napa on his own up front.

United had no chance in a physical battle, but instead adapted to carry a different kind of threat.

Fazackerley said: “You almost have a ‘what if’ situation and it was something we had considered before the game.

“What we had planned fortunately worked out. It doesn’t often, of course.

“They’ve all got pace, great feet and dribbling ability.

“They showed that when they’ve got the ball in the final third they are capable of creating things.”

Fazackerley had called before the game for his side to produce a display which would do the bumper away contingent proud.

And the players were as good as his word.

“We wanted a performance in terms of honesty, integrity, humility, hunger, desire – I thought they showed that,” Fazackerley said.

“Had we not won the game there was still a lot to be pleased with, but it’s nice for the players to get rewarded, because it gives them a little bit of belief.”

The one area of concern was again defensively, with mistakes contributing to both the hosts’ goals.

Fazackerley said: “We keep giving ourselves mountains to climb, but today we were able to climb the mountain.

“We know that’s not going to happen every week and it’s something we have to seriously look at ourselves for – it’s not the first time we’ve spoken about it.

“It’s not the second, third or fourth and it’s being going on for some considerable time.”