Chris Wilder praised Oxford after James Constable's strike set them on the way to a 3-1 victory at Torquay, their third straight league win.
Constable's first-time volley dipped under Martin Rice's bar to put Oxford 2-0 up and in the driving seat in the 62nd minute following Dean Smalley's 48th minute near-post opener.
Torquay substitute Jordan Chappell reduced the deficit with a close range 70th minute strike before Constable teed up fellow sub Asa Hall to make it 3-1 at the second attempt in the 78th minute.
Wilder said: "At half time we talked about getting James on to the pitch because we just felt it was a day for him, especially how the game panned out and the conditions, and he got himself a great goal.
"It's a good three points we have had to work really hard for them today. I don't think conditions were great for either side. They favoured them in the first half and it was a big wind. Ryan Clarke strikes a great ball but he was struggling to get it over the halfway line.
"We had to defend some crosses and good play. They were tough conditions and yet again we scored at great times.
"The good thing for me is that I have talked all along about the attitude of the team and the team does not just involve the 11 players and I am delighted for James and Asa because they have come on and obviously played a major part in us getting a win.
"They could have quite easily been ahead at half time. We have had to defend at the right times.
"We are a big club in this league especially when we start the season on the front foot.
"We have got experienced players out there and they are looking forward to next week. Our supporters will see that we have started the season well, three wins, and hopefully we will get a big crowd in and good support for a local derby against Wycombe and that really takes care of itself."