Oxford United travel to Ipswich on Saturday in Sky Bet League 1 on Saturday as two of the division’s in-form teams go head-to-head.
“Portman Road is one of the best grounds to go in our league” Karl Robinson told iFollow today. “We are very lucky to have to go to some fantastic clubs this season. It’s also a kind place to go, very welcoming, but we have to go there and be at our best. No-one can be under par.
“Ipswich are in good form. We know more than anybody that when you turn over so many players in one summer it can take time for it all to click. But we have watched their games and they should have more points than they have: that sounds like a broken record from us for the last two years!
“It’s a bit unfair for me to comment on them though; I like and respect their Manager and staff so I’m not going to get involved in anything disrespectful, but we know they are a very good team and everyone knows the size of the challenge we are facing on Saturday.”
The U’s will be without Alex Gorrin after his knee injury but welcome back James Henry and Herbie Kane and have had the added bonus of keeper Jack Stevens starting the road to recovery this week after glandular fever.
“It was a blow for Alex but also for us” Karl said. "He will probably be out til May time. He is such an influential player on the pitch but also just around the place; he is loved around the whole club. He is the enforcer in this team. We will look after him and we will talk to him about a new deal because he is out of contract next summer. But after what he has given us for the last two and a half years, when he has been exceptional, we will discuss another year with him because he deserves that.
“Herbie and James Henry are available and we aren’t carrying any niggles into the game. It was good to see Jack on Sunday and then back at the Training Ground again today. He is looking a lot better and feeling much more like his old self.
“We won’t rush him, he has to be right before he can train again but the plan at the moment is for him to start doing some light work next week and then slowly get him back to where we want him to be. We are very calm with it all.”
See the full interview with Karl in iFollow along with the Preview Show and an exclusive with Jordan Thorniley.