TECHNOLOGY has become the key to keeping Oxford United connected during the coronavirus lockdown.

With squads unable to train together as things stand, clubs have been looking for ways to stay in touch.

United have turned to video conferencing platform Zoom, which allows players and staff to dial in from home at the same time for daily group meetings.

Head coach Karl Robinson said: “We’ve moaned over the last four or five years about how technology and social media has had a completely negative effect on the world and people’s mindsets.

“But right now it’s one of the greatest sources to connect with each other and keep them in a positive frame of mind.

“I think that’s important, that we keep it going.”

The new approach was not without its early struggles, though.

“When we first went online together on Monday it was probably the worst meeting I have ever taken,” Robinson said.

Banbury Cake:

  • Players and staff dial in from home during the daily meetings      Picture: Oxford United

“They were like a gang of school kids, but as time’s gone by they’ve got better at it.

“The players have enjoyed that connection and ability to speak to each other.

“There are ways of keeping some sort of structure in your life and it doesn’t half make your day go an awful lot smoother.

“It takes away a thought process of anything negative towards what’s going on right now.”

While that helps take care of the players mentally, they are also doing what is possible physically.

With the EFL season on hold until at least April 30, the plan at this stage is just to keep the squad ticking over.

Robinson said: “You can’t over-train now, because we’re still six weeks away from a game.

“The body needs to recover properly.

“Normally when we start a new season we have had a six-week build-up, but you’re coming off the back of eight weeks off.

“We’ve only had two weeks, but they’re training again.

“It’s a lower level than normal at this time of year, but they’re not losing that baseline fitness.”

United have also been making use of their extra time to check in on others.

Robinson has been among those to give supporters a call in the last few days to check in on them.

He said: “It’s important to connect with people who may be more vulnerable than others in this time.

“The most important thing is people’s health and wellbeing is in a good place.

“We’re there to try to be some sort of support mechanism.

“Hopefully with our lines of communication we can keep everybody as informed as possible.”

One good piece of news at United this week was the arrival of Elliott Moore’s first child, Harper Rose.

“It’s fantastic, we send them our love,” Robinson said.

“It’s a special moment for them in this difficult time.”