Karl Robinson Determined to Sign Players Early For Oxford United
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has admitted that he wants to strike early in this year’s transfer window.
He blames the poor start and early season mistakes of last year down to signings arriving late.
Karl Robinson to Build Squad Early This Season
The U’s headed into their pre-season tour of Ireland last summer with just three of the ten players Robinson signed.
Robinson’s men host Queens Park Rangers in a friendly, in addition to an away trip at Solihull Moors. There have also been rumours that the U’s will travel to Ibrox to face Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, but neither club has yet confirmed.
It’s become a bit of a tradition for Oxford now to have their pre-season abroad. In 2015, Michael Appleton took his side to Austria to face SC Wiener Neustadt. Despite a goalless draw, the occasion became memorable. The following season the U’s travelled to Spain, with Portugal in the next term.
Karl Robinson on Signings
Robinson, who had wanted to strike early last summer, said: “I think the problem last year was we signed 25% of our squad leading up to the season and some of them weren’t fit.
“Looking back it was obvious what the start was going to be like, especially with how competitive the games were.
“We sat here last year and we were waiting a long time for Ricky [Holmes], Marcus Browne, Jamie Mackie and Jamie Hanson.
“It’s something we want to get done and over the line (this time). We hope the players here now will hit the ground running.
“Look at the players who did pre-season with us, they stood the test of time and their injury record was minimal.”
Robinson is looking for a right back, a left-sided centre back, two holding midfield players and up to four attackers before the window shuts at the start of September.
He hopes to get these players in early so the team can bond ahead of the new season, and the U’s manager has praised his backroom staff for identifying possible targets but admits it is not straightforward to get signings done in the next few weeks.
“That’s the problem – we all want to deal,” he said. “Tiger (United’s chairman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth) is a businessman and loves doing deals. We’ve just got to make sure we’re a little more detailed in what we’re going to do.”
The U’s used all six loan players this campaign, and Robinson again hasn’t ruled out the possibility of these types of players arriving at the Kassam.
He said: “We do know who we want, we are speaking to Premier League clubs. Those loan deals are the X Factor players, the ones you can’t afford.
“They are generally in your wide areas, or your goalscoring areas and are generally the last ones you bring in.”