KARL Robinson says there will be no knee-jerk reaction at Oxford United despite 12 first-team players being forced to self-isolate following three positive coronavirus tests.

The club announced the trio of cases yesterday, which have forced a further nine players who were in close proximity to the infected players to also stay at home.

It meant United fielded a younger side than planned in last night’s pre-season friendly against Hayes & Yeading United, although they still eased to a 9-0 win.

Match report: Taylor scores four as Oxford United thrash Hayes & Yeading

This evening’s fixture with Banbury United is set to go ahead, but it is understood Saturday’s game at Birmingham City is unlikely to survive.

It comes less than three weeks before the start of the Sky Bet League One season, but Robinson is calm about the situation.

He said: “One of our players caught Covid away from the building.

“When you’re in the dressing room, even when you’re so far apart, we know how this virus can spread.

“We’ve tried to stay on top of everything, we have been overly cautious with the tracing of social distancing.

“We’ve done it a little bit more than we need to, which has reduced our numbers and is the right thing to do.

“We’re speaking to all of the people in relation to how we trace it and how we train moving forward.

“The safety of not just the players but the county is at the forefront of our minds.

“But players go to restaurants, to pubs and go shopping, we don’t want to stop them living their lives.

“The players (who played against Hayes & Yeading) have got two days off now.

“The staff will be in on Thursday to take stock, we aren’t making any knee-jerk reactions.

“There’s one or two things we might have to manoeuvre to suit our schedule.”

The club’s latest round of lateral flow tests last weekend returned three positive results, which were each confirmed by PCR tests the same day.

Those players must self-isolate for ten days from the date of the swabs, although none have fallen ill.

United’s players have changed and eaten in small groups at their training ground since the pandemic began, to limit the contact time between players.

It is understood the three positive cases all came from separate groups, meaning the three other players in those groups are also self-isolating.

Many of those players will not be out of isolation until this time next week, but the issue has given some youngsters the opportunity for first-team minutes.

Matty Taylor grabbed the headlines with four goals against Hayes & Yeading, but eight teenagers played their part in a convincing win.

Robinson said: “Sometimes when you lose large numbers of players, it’s a chance for the kids to step up.

“The senior lads really stood up as well and showed leadership of the young kids.”