MARK Sykes was delighted to turn around his own performance and help Oxford United to victory on his home debut.

The Northern Irishman set up the first of Jerome Sinclair’s double in the 2-1 win against Scunthorpe United.

But it came after a difficult 45 minutes for Sykes, who looked off the pace and wasted the hosts’ only clear opening when a poor touch allowed a one-on-one chance to vanish.

He said: “I thought I didn’t do as well as I should have in the first half.

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“I’ll always be my biggest critic when I know I’m not doing well, but you can’t get yourself too down or you’ll affect the whole performance.

“I knew at half-time I just had to go and do something about it.

“Thankfully the ball dropped to me in the box from Jordan (Graham) and I’ve just picked out Jerome and he tucked it away. It was a nice way to go 1-0 up.”

It was a far better combination than the same players had managed before the break.

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Both went for a loose ball on the edge of the Scunthorpe box and collided, allowing the visitors to break.

Sykes said: “I actually called for the ball. I said afterwards ‘did you not hear me’, he said he did but he took a touch anyway.

“Things happen on the pitch and you don’t intend to do them. But if I can set him up after kicking him then I’ll do it every week.”