Like most of the country, Oxford United’s players are facing a new way of living and working right now and today saw the start of a brand new training programme where they can continue to stay fit, but at home.
The U’s will follow a new programme from the Sports Science team at the club and use online communication tools to hold regular meeting and updates, as Karl Robinson told us:
“The players have downloaded different portals and we had a team meeting online at 10am this morning with everyone involved. I greet them and go through their day and they go off at home to do what we expect of them that day. They have an app to calibrate what we need them to do, and then we meet online again at 1pm. We repeat that on Tuesday and they will be made available to help in the community then as well: we are still talking about what is the right thing to do there that is safe and runs parallel with all the guidelines.
"Wednesday is a day off then we are back together Thursday. Every day I will start by asking after their family which is the most important thing. But every day they will have a physical programme to follow and then in the afternoon there are different challenges and so on, because there needs to be routine. Players need that and there will be welfare info to cope with anxiety in a situation which none of us have ever found ourselves in. I spoke to so many people in football and there were so many variables but the one consistency is that the players need structure rather than their time being open-ended.
“Football is parked for now and we will move things according to guidance we receive while things keep changing all the time. There are so many logistical things to take care of but in terms of organisation we are fully respectful of the situation we are in and we send our love to everyone out there. I’m not a politician, thankfully, but what is going on right now is horrific. But I have tried to be positive and I think that helps those around you as well. Football breeds positivity and that’s why we love the game.
“Until now we maybe haven’t ever had a chance to get ourselves away from the almost fictional world of football that we live in. But it’s not there now, this is real life. Right now everyone’s freedom is being restricted but first and foremost everyone has to do what is right. Stay in as needed, listen to the government guidelines, and let’s just listen to what we are being told, try and help contain it and hopefully get back to what our lives should look like.
“People will lose loved ones and we send them all our love, but if everyone can be mindful then it will make such a big difference. Right now it’s not about football it’s about people. When we do come back then it will all be for the badge again but right now it’s not about your badge, it’s about doing your best for everyone.”
Follow Karl's advice please. Stay home, stay safe and look after each other.