THE problem with having games in hand is it is impossible to resist mentally adding three points for each fixture to see how it impacts the table.

For Oxford United, who have played three fewer games than some sides in Sky Bet League One and two fewer than most, that would transform their position for the better.

Boss Karl Robinson has been buoyed by the results from the physical testing done with the squad late last week, which was made possible by Saturday’s postponement.

There was already a feeling things were starting to come together after a chaotic beginning to the campaign.

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The data backs that up, but the head coach knows the only figure which really counts is the points column in the table.

He said: “The players are fitter, the numbers are up from where they were at the beginning of the season.

“Where we had a very small break in the summer and a small pre-season, that fatigue element was still there.

“I’m looking now and I don’t see it as much.

“I feel we’re in a good place, but it’s pointless me sat here speaking about that, results will be the judge of it.”

He added: “We feel we have enough games in hand to mount a decent challenge.

“What has become clear is I really do know where we need to improve.

“The squad is really clear to me now for the first time.”

United’s disrupted opening to the campaign included two postponed fixtures against Crewe Alexandra.

At the time there was a fair amount of animosity between the two camps, but the month gap since the last delay has, on the surface at least, smoothed the tensions.

Both managers yesterday were quick to praise each other’s teams and Robinson plans to speak to David Artell before the game to iron out any issues which may be lingering.

The U’s boss joked they knew Crewe better than any other side in League One after preparing to play them three times in six weeks.

And there was no surprise for him to see them beat leaders Peterborough United on Saturday.

Robinson said: “Crewe are a really good team, another one I’ve really enjoyed watching in the build-up to the game.

“It’s going to be a really difficult test for us.

“They should have won more games than they have and they’ll probably say the same about us.

“I think come the end of the season some of their best players will be strong candidates for being some of the best in the league.”

Artell told Alexandra’s website: “There will be no issue coming from me.

“I will shake Karl’s hand, wish him well and hopefully we will get to watch a game of football.”