OXFORD United are desperate to tie down a key member of staff beyond the end of this season.

Chris Short took over as head of physical performance in November in a move described at the time by head coach Karl Robinson as a “massive signing”.

The coach, whose CV includes spells at Leicester City and Crystal Palace, has had a big impact behind the scenes at United.

But with his family based in Yorkshire, he only signed a deal until the end of the campaign.

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Robinson intends to offer a new contract, having seen the benefits of his work first-hand.

“We want to keep him,” the U’s boss said.

“Chris Short is probably one of the best fitness coaches I’ve ever worked with. He’s incredible.

“He’s somebody we’re really lucky to have, (but) whether he’s here next year that’s something we’ll have to have conversations about.

“He lives up in York, which is a long way and he’s got a family.

“But what he’s done for us since he’s come in has been brilliant.

“People say heads of recruitment and sports science are the two most important people in the club.

“My job as a manager becomes impossible if those two components aren’t done correctly.”

United feel their hard work on the training pitch has been the difference in recent weeks, with 94th-minute winners coming in their last two home games.

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Midfielder Cameron Brannagan, who covered more than 13 kilometres in the victory at Coventry City a fortnight ago, said: “Every day in training we work very hard and I’ve noticed it a lot of the time teams get tired but we’re always fit and ready.

“Everybody believes and it’s non-stop because you can score at any time.”