DES Buckingham was delighted to collect his first point as Oxford United head coach, as the U’s held the league leaders at Grenoble Road.

United quickly put behind them the disappointment of the 2-0 loss at Cheltenham Town in Buckingham’s first game in charge, to go toe to toe with Sky Bet League One table toppers Bolton Wanderers.

The Trotters made the trip down south after battering Exeter City 7-0 at the weekend, and Buckingham was happy to see his U’s side match up with their opponents.

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He said: “They scored seven goals at the weekend, they’re a very good team and they’ll be up and amongst it at the end, with us, I’m sure.

“We asked for a reaction after Saturday and I’m very pleased with what I’ve just seen out there.

“We created a lot of chances, which we unfortunately couldn’t capitalise on, but otherwise I thought we were a lot better in control of the game, and I think we deserved at least a point.

“That point may turn out to be an important point come the end of the season. You have to take points off these types of teams.

“They’re a very good team. We knew that and we’ve seen the games they’ve played this season, but it was about making sure we did what we wanted to do.

“It wasn’t just focusing on Bolton, we’ve got good players and in a strong position ourselves, and there’s a reason for that.

“I was very pleased with the way the players performed, albeit without the goal.”

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Both goalkeepers made key saves to ensure the game finished goalless, and Buckingham reserved praise for United’s James Beadle and his opposite number, Nathan Baxter.

Buckingham said: “They earned their money, but I thought the back four in particular, in front of a young goalkeeper in James, performed extremely well.

“I’m very pleased to come away with a clean sheet and my first point as manager. It puts us in a solid position to move on.”

The U’s switched from a 4-2-3-1 to 3-4-2-1 in the closing stages, after Stephan Negru and Gatlin O’Donkor replaced Stan Mills and Mark Harris respectively.

Buckingham explained the switch, saying: “It was two things. It was making sure that we had legs to still get the opportunities in behind, because when you work that hard off the ball, it takes its toll.

“It was also making sure defensively we stayed strong and solid because there was a five or 10-minute period where they got on top of us, so it was about trying to kill that momentum a little bit.”

Discussing his first home game as head coach, Buckingham added: “I’ve seen how big the fanbase is here – I’ve seen us go to Wembley and take 35,000 people, so people will come and support this club.

“I think half the crowd may have been my family. It’s wonderful, and if they can keep turning up in the numbers they have, we’ll do as much as we can to put on performances that hopefully give us the results for them to continue coming.”