Chris Wilder admitted Oxford were not at their best in beating Macclesfield 2-1, but the Us boss praised the attitude of his players.
Oxford were in action for the first time since defeating Barnet 2-1 at home on December 4, and duly leapfrogged their opponents courtesy of goals in each half from Simon Heslop and James Constable. Town substitute Ricky Sappleton set up a tense finale eight minutes from time but Wilder`s side held on.
"The three points are invaluable, although you could tell we've not played for a while - there was some poor decision-making but we'll get better," said Wilder.
"It was a big game for us and our strikers did very well. I was delighted with the contribution of (Steven) MacLean again, and Constable got his goal.
"We've got a group of players we can be extremely proud of because we go right to the end.
"We were average at best and got three points, but there were quite a few games earlier in the season when we were excellent and didn't get the result."