Karl Robinson said he was proud of Oxford’s players for putting their poor run behind them to record a 6-0 away success for the second season running.
Robinson’s side were ruthless at Gresty Road as they revived their hopes of a top-six finish with a crushing win, which equalled the U’s record away win set last season.
A run of four defeats in their last five had left Oxford with little room for manoeuvre, but they scented blood against a shaky home defence.
Robinson, who watched from the stand as he was serving a one-game touchline ban, said: “It’s how you get over a defeat as this season is so strange.
“To win 6-0 away two years in succession is tremendous, and to win here 6-0 against a good team.
“There’s a numbness about the season, the lows feel lower and the highs feel low. The fans are not here and there’s no-one here to move you forward. It’s a really different year, but I’m proud of my players.
“It was a good professional performance and shows my players really do care. It was a game to remember. To score three in each half is very good and all different types of goals as well.”
Josh Ruffels headed Sam Long’s cross into the bottom corner for Oxford’s 37th-minute opener and then when Crewe goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen’s poor kick put his back four under pressure, James Henry side-footed home Brandon Barker’s pull-back.
Skipper Elliott Moore stabbed home a third from a Henry free-kick in first-half stoppage time and any chance Crewe had of a recovery was quickly killed off after the restart when Barker was allowed room to slam a superb 25-yard finish into the bottom corner.
Omar Beckles tripped Mark Sykes in the area and although Cameron Brannagan’s spot-kick was saved by Jaaskelainen, the midfielder followed up to net the fifth.
Substitute Sam Winnall’s far-post header completed a clinical afternoon in front of goal for the visitors.
Robinson added: “Brandon’s goal was a worldie and his assist for James Henry’s goal was like nothing in this league.
“The pleasing thing for me was that the subs had an impact as well and it was nice to get Sam (Winnall) to score.”
Crewe boss Dave Artell lamented his players’ weak mentality as they sunk to a third successive home defeat.
“The intent and mindset of the players was severely affected and that can’t happen,” said Artell. “We lost the game in 10 to 15 minutes and that can’t happen.
“You’ve get to get going and ride the punches and show more fighting spirit than we did.
“We changed a couple of things and it had a horrible effect. There’s culpability on my part, we’re all in it together and they’ve got to learn to do better.
“Anthony Evans came on and ran around. He had some fire in his belly, a lot more than most.
“But the rest of them you have to say ‘take a look in the mirror and ask did you do your best?’”