KARL Robinson urged everyone at Oxford United to “grit their teeth” and get through a testing time.

The U’s boss will struggle to fill the bench against Walsall tomorrow after Marcus Browne and Jamie Mackie were added to the squad’s injury list.

Browne (knee) is expected to miss three weeks, while a hip injury could keep Mackie out for twice as long.

The news will greatly restrict the club’s attacking options, which are already depleted by the loss of Rob Hall and Samir Carruthers.

“It’s a crisis, but that’s life,” he said.

“People will say it’s the manager moaning – I’m not moaning, I’m just telling it like it is.

“I’m not negative about it, I’m frustrated. You just have to take it on the chin and go again.

“We might just have to grit our teeth over the course of the next few days and hope things materialise, or we get a bit of luck.”

United’s campaign has been plagued by injury issues, from the moment Carruthers damaged knee ligaments at Barnsley on the opening day of the sea-


The situation is likely to ease in the next few weeks, but with the side second bottom in Sky Bet League One, they need to pick up results in the meantime.

Robinson believes United’s woes are largely an issue of ill-fortune and is looking to create a siege mentality until the situation improves.

He said: “It’s not like you can point fingers and question what’s going on. It’s just things are out of our control.

“The players’ attitudes have been brilliant, the staff have worked ultra-hard, the chairman has been incredibly supportive, the fans have been unbelievable and they deserve more luck than they’re getting.

“We’ve lost one game in six. I think everybody in here deserves a pat on the back because of how hard they’re working through what we’re going through at this particular time.”


Cameron Brannagan

Marcus Browne

Samir Carruthers

Tsun Dai

Simon Eastwood

Rob Hall

Fabio Lopes

Jamie Mackie

Tony McMahon

RECALLING loan players to help ease Oxford United’s injury problems is not an option, according to boss Karl Robinson.

Half a dozen U’s players are out on temporary deals, but only those at non-league sides could be brought back, providing they are not in the first 28 days.

But with the first-team injury issues expected to improve shortly, Robinson feels the young players would be best served by continuing their education on loan.

He said: “The problem you have when you do that is you’re putting them at risk of not playing many games in the course of their development.”

The U’s boss was keen to sign free agent Nicky Maynard, but has now admitted defeat.

He said: “I think he’s signing for another club.

“There’s not much movement anywhere.”