After the news that Oxford United are in the play-offs the squad will be stepping up their training this week to make sure they are ready to face Portsmouth.
Dates have yet to be confirmed for the play-offs - Wycombe Wanderers take on Fleetwood Town in the other- but the U’s returned to small group training on Monday and can now progress to the next stage of training in slightly larger groups after the whole squad and staff tested negative for Covid-19 in a second round of tests.
Each player must monitor their temperature and keep a detailed health record which is submitted to the club's medical team an hour before arrival at the Training Ground where they are tested as soon as they arrive. Monday’s tests came back within 24 hours and were all clear and the same tests will be carried out again tomorrow when the squad return.
Karl Robinson told us
“It’s good news that we have got the all clear for a second time. The lads enjoyed being back together in groups of five on Monday and Tuesday and worked really hard. Their levels were excellent anyway but they trained well and deserve a day off today, then they will be back on Thursday and Friday and we can expand those groups a little and work with bigger numbers, still observing all of the correct protocols that are in place.
“It’s important that the Training Ground feels safe for all of us and I have to say that everyone was very respectful of the rules and the new world that we are training in.
“Now we need to get match sharp before we play Portsmouth and we had more good news with the EFL giving us permission to play friendlies behind closed doors over the next couple of weeks.
"We will play a Championship side away at the weekend and that will be new to us as well: no pre-match as a group, no team bus, no changing room; so many of the things we take for granted on a matchday can’t happen at the moment so we will be getting match fitness with everyone playing 45 minutes but also looking at matchdays and making sure our preparations are spot on, as they always are.”