OXFORD United’s players will today get a welcome break from a gruelling start to their pre-season tour to Ireland.

The U’s squad have been on the beach at Portmarnock first thing for the past three days, but it certainly hasn’t been a holiday.

An intense schedule is well under way as boss Karl Robinson embarks on a tried and trusted plan that he is confident will bring the best out of his players come the start of the season.

Having worked solidly since arriving on Friday, United’s players have earned a day off before being put through the mill again for the remainder of the week.

“We are doing three sessions a day,” Robinson said.

“We are on the beach at 6.30 in the morning and finish at 7.30 each night.

“We have done that for three days, then they get a day off, and then there’s three more days doing the same.

“We then have the weekend and come back for three games in three days – and then play on the next Saturday too. That is a big, big ask.”