KARL Robinson has laid down the law with Sean Clare and urged him to play for the shirt next season.

Clare has returned to Oxford United after joining Burton Albion on loan in January, helping The Brewers propel from the foot of Sky Bet League One to 16th, 10 points above the relegation zone.

Prior to his loan spell with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side, Clare had made 20 appearances for the U’s.

He was initially deployed as a right back after his move from Scottish outfit Hearts, before he was moved further forward into a midfield role.

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It is in the middle of the park that Robinson sees Clare playing next season – if he wants to.

Speaking to BBC Radio Oxford’s Wasn’t At The Game, the U’s boss said: “It’s down to Sean to come back as a number eight and to prove that is his position.

“If he doesn’t want to do it, that’s football – be straight with me.

“I’m not chasing people anymore, I’m sick of it.

“The game’s evolved for three or four years now where you’re begging, kicking and screaming for people to stay and we want them to play for us.

“That’s going to be our message to all the players this summer – if you don’t want to be here, be straight with me and we’ll sell you and you can go.”

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Clare arrived last summer on a deal until 2023 for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £100,000.

Robinson challenged Clare to carry the form he showed for Burton into next season.

The 24-year-old made 20 appearances, scoring once, as he became a key figure in the Albion midfield.

Robinson said: “If Sean wants to come to a team that’s consistently been in the top six for two years and keep us in there, come and get your place.

“If you don’t and you feel the challenge is beyond that, and you want to move on, we have to do some business that’s right for the football club.

“If Sean goes we have to replace with better.”