KARL Robinson hailed an ‘exceptional’ Oxford United display as James Henry’s stoppage-time winner saw them triumph over adversity at Hillsborough.

The midfielder’s cute finish gave the U’s a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday, securing their first away triumph of the Sky Bet League One season.

United’s build-up was marred by two players testing positive for Covid, with Mark Sykes also missing out due to close contact with one of those individuals.

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Henry had been suffering with a heavy cold and tested negative for the virus this morning, before coming on with half an hour remaining.

But United put it behind them with an outstanding performance and Robinson praised the mental strength of his team.

The U’s head coach said: “We’ve got through two massive hurdles today.

“To come to one of the most intimidating places in the league and perform the way we did was exceptional.

“A big thanks to the fans who have made their way down here.

“They’ve spent a lot of money this season for way below-par results.”

Cameron Brannagan had given United an early lead and they were comfortably the better side in the first half.

But Callum Paterson’s header 17 minutes from time looked to have secured a draw for the hosts, before Henry’s winner.

The goal came right in front of the travelling U’s fans, who predictably went wild.

But it left Robinson in a reflective mood, with the strike coming at the Leppings Lane End, where 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

The U’s boss is a Reds supporter and admitted it was a bittersweet feeling.

He said: “It’s always weird being a Liverpool fan coming here, it always has that strange sense.

“My Dad was here for the game that everyone knows about and it’s weird celebrating down that end.

“I’m very proud of my players and the connection that our fans have with the players is quite unique.”

Sykes missed out on the squad as he has not been vaccinated, with existing rules only allowing people to avoid self-isolation if they have been double-jabbed.

And Robinson – who found out before the game that his daughter had tested positive – knows it is a difficult issue.

He said: “It’s a stark reminder of people not having the jab, that’s caused a big problem today.

“I’ve been incredibly transparent with my players – if you don’t have the vaccine, this happens.”