KARL Robinson plans to speak with Northern Ireland's coaching set-up over concerns about Gavin Whyte's workload.

The winger started his first game for a month last weekend after recovering from a thigh injury, but may have to make do with a place on Oxford United's bench against Charlton Athletic tomorrow.

Robinson believes the strains of a first season in professional football are showing on the 23-year-old, who has made 48 appearances for club and country.

He said: "Gavin’s now suffering from chronic fatigue.

"He might be sub at the weekend, but we’re having a debate about it because he’s that close.

Also read: Oxford United looking at targets in both Irish transfer markets

"From thigh to hamstring, calf to groin to back – the little man’s body is not conducive to full-time football yet.

"He needs a summer to be in the gym, work on things to strengthen himself, to rest."

It is his international commitments which are a worry for the U's.

Northern Ireland have UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Estonia and Belarus at the start of June – a month after the Sky Bet League One season finishes and less than three weeks before pre-season gets under way.

Robinson said: "We need to be having these conversations, because how can a player suffering from chronic fatigue injuries be asked to go again in the summer?

"We can only really rest him if he’s going to be rested at both ends of this.

"He loves playing, but he’s shutting down. "

It raises the possibility of a second club versus country clash between Robinson and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill.

In October, the U's head coach was unhappy a request to keep Whyte for a crunch league game with Plymouth Argyle was turned down.