Dave Challinor admitted his pride despite seeing Pools knocked out of the FA Cup following a 4-1 defeat at The Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
Mark Kitching had given the magnificent travelling support real hope of creating a cup upset when he pounced on a defensive error to put Challinor’s men in front inside ten minutes.
However, a second half super-show from the League One promotion-chasers proved too good for Pools and it was the home side who progressed to Round Four of the competition.
“I’m unbelievably proud of the players and unbelievably proud of the fans who were amazing,” Challinor told Pools TV.
“I will take the hit for the final two goals because it wasn’t worth losing 2-1 – we had to throw caution to the wind but that is what can happen when you do that against good teams.
“Their movement, the ability they have one on one causes all sorts of problems. They’re the best team in League One by a mile.
“We have to assess where we are and look at where they are and if we have players in our dressing who aspire to be there they have to see what it requires to get where Oxford are.
“We frustrated them in the first half made it tough for then. We wanted to build on that in the second half but unfortunately we couldn’t do that.
“The fans were brilliant and I am disappointed we couldn’t hang on to give them something to enjoy but we have to use that as motivation to want to repay them.
“We will get a team that is worthy of their support – I will make sure that happens.”