OXFORD United have requested to use their home game with Crewe Alexandra next month as a test event with fans.

The EFL contacted clubs yesterday to ask if they wanted to hold pilot schemes with attendances of 1,000 from this weekend.

United host Sunderland, but with only a couple of hours to lodge a formal answer felt it was better to take time to get it right.

Instead, Crewe's visit on October 3 has been put forward as the first game to allow supporters into the Kassam Stadium.

Niall McWilliams, the U's managing director, told the club's website: “Fans returning to football is a massive step in the right direction.

"Over the last few weeks we have spent many hours talking to the right people about public safety and the current situation with the pandemic and were prepared for all eventualities.

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“We are desperate for fans to come back to our games but it has to be done with the health and safety not just of the fans but also the players and staff as our highest priority.

“Could we have piloted a game on Saturday? Probably. But probably isn’t enough right now.

"The situation in Oxford itself changes all the time so we need to know it is 100 per cent the right decision for everyone and would rather make sure everything is in place for a safe pilot game, with the plan being for that to take place against Crewe.

“How we pilot it and how many fans can attend is part of a very detailed plan which we have included fan feedback in after we asked them for the numbers within their social bubbles hoping to attend games.

"Now we just need to formally submit those plans to the authorities and make sure we can start taking the correct steps to have fans back at our matches.”