THERE are no easy weeks in football management, but few in the industry can have had a more challenging last few days than Karl Robinson.

The sheer amount of extra-curricular activities which needed covering at yesterday’s press conference meant the visit of Sky Bet League One leaders Portsmouth was hardly mentioned.

On top of the ongoing attempts to strengthen in the transfer market, Robinson has also had to contend with the latest winding-up petition, plus the fall-out from Gavin Whyte’s weekend to forget.

“There’s so much conflict going on and this (the Whyte video) was almost like another brick to add on to that wall we were trying to knock down,” the U’s boss said.

“Since I’ve been here, the football has only been about ten per cent of my role and responsibilities.

“But I’ve always said that with how this place was changing and evolving, you’re going to make mistakes when you’re changing things.

“It’s been a very busy week, but I’ve had these situations before.

“A lot of other managers have had more difficult moments to deal with.

“You just have to take it and use your experience to keep the place very calm.

“That’s something we’ve done through the week.”

It is all hardly ideal preparation for a side in the relegation zone to face the division’s top dogs.

In the context it might be tempting to pull up the drawbridge and create a siege mentality.

But it is not quite that simple, according to Robinson.

He said: “I don’t see it as that.

“My job is to protect the players from the outside influences.

“You do let one or two things in because you do want them to understand the importance of things.

“I think it can help, depending on how strong or weak you are, so you’ve got to pick and choose what you let in.”

The biggest issue is the timing, smack bang in the middle of the transfer window.

And the emergence of a third winding-up petition, filed by HM Revenue & Customs last Friday, has not gone unnoticed.

Robinson is calm over the situation, which is believed to have been settled this week, but admitted it had been brought up in transfer negotiations.

The U’s boss said: “You can always explain things. Whether they believe you or not, that’s another question.

“No player has been paid late, everything has been on time internally.

“With some of the players we’ve been speaking to it has been brought up for obvious reasons, but I don’t think it’s been something which has been a problem.”

Robinson is equally aware of how it appears to the outside world.

He said: “My dad phoned me off the back of it and he said ‘what’s going on, that doesn’t look good’.

“Although I’m in the middle of it and I know everything is fine, I can see how fans will react and take it in a different way.

“It seems to be me coming out and speaking to you every single week over different problems, but I’ve always confronted things straight on.

“It’s another part of the building blocks we have to get right.”