OXFORD United reported back for pre-season training today – and there was no hiding place.

All the U’s squad were put through their paces at Abingdon School, undergoing a series of tests in the gym before embarking on a range of timed runs outside.

Head of sports science Scott Daly knows he will not be popular with the players over the next few weeks, but says they are all aware their tough programme is something that has to be done.

“I think I am enemy No 1 today and will be for pre-season,” he said.

“But they all did fine. The modern player does not come back unfit, they just can’t these days.”

It is a view echoed by defender John Mousinho.

“It’s my 14th pre-season and with emphasis clearly on the fitness, the sports science improves every year,” he said.

“As long as you are expecting it to be tough and are prepared to work very hard you’ll be fine.

“We all had our programmes to do over the summer. I had a couple of weeks off but then built up some base fitness ready for today.

“It’s all geared for the start of the season.”

Boss Karl Robinson and first-team coaches Shaun Derry and Derek Fazackerley oversaw proceedings – having all done part of the timed run.

“It’s great to have everyone back in,” Robinson said.

“Pre-season will be tough for the players, but it will be worth it.

“There are some great facilities at Abingdon School, and we are all very grateful we can use them for a couple of days before we go to Ireland.”