PREPARATION will be key to determining Sunday’s result and Joe Skarz believes Oxford United’s chances will be boosted if they get things right tomorrow.

The left back is one of several in the squad with experience of playing at Wembley and will be hoping to shrug off a groin problem to take his place in the U’s line-up.

He was in the Rotherham United team which won the League One play-off final on a penalty shoot-out two seasons ago, beating a Leyton Orient side which featured an on-loan John Lundstram.

As part of a weekend of games, the Millers did not have the luxury of visiting the stadium beforehand to acclimatise to the very imposing surroundings.

Despite being on the right side of the result that day, Skarz felt he would have benefitted from such a trip.

So the 26-year-old views United’s excursion tomorrow will be vital, particularly for those making their Wembley debuts.

He said: “When we did it with Rotherham we turned up on the day – you want to take it all in but we didn’t have much time.

“We got there quite early, looked round and took photos on our phones.

“Then it was game mode really.

“It was only after the game then you took it all in.

“I went out on to the pitch when the stadium was empty, just to have a look round and it’s then you realise you’d played in a stadium of that magnitude.

“This way you can get it all done the day before and then when you get there on the day you can really focus on the game.”

As one of the most experienced players in the United squad, you can bet the coaching staff will not lose much sleep worrying over whether nerves will get the better of the reliable full back.

Skarz has some advice for younger teammates, even if the former Huddersfield Town apprentice acknowledges it will be tough to follow.

He said: “You have to try and treat it like a normal game, but it’s very hard to do that.

“You can say it all you want, but it’s not a normal league game.

“The size of the stadium and the changing room with all the facilities – it’s completely different to what us as players are used to.

“You look at the FA Cup final and you can see when (Premier League) teams play there they do get nervous because it’s a bigger occasion than normal.

“But the lads here I think are a confident bunch.

“We’ll try to block out the huge stands around you and just play.

“Because it’s two teams that play an attacking brand of football I think once the game starts you’ll get into it.”