KARL Robinson would love to see Charlton Athletic win promotion this season, but will be doing all he can to derail their charge by stretching Oxford United’s strong run today.

It is just over a year since he left the south London club, who went on to reach last season’s play-offs and are in the mix to go up once again.

Robinson’s tenure at the Valley may only have lasted 18 months, but he had a big impact on the existing set-up.

He brought in Lee Bowyer, who became his successor and gave a coaching role to Johnnie Jackson, now the No 2.

But while there will be familiar faces aplenty in the opposition’s technical area at the Kassam Stadium, that does not mean it will be an easy afternoon for the fourth official.

“They know I’m rooting for them 100 per cent – apart from an hour and a half on Friday,” the United boss said.

“They know I’ve got a job to do and I know they’ve got a job to do.

“We’re friends before and after, but enemies during. Bow’s a winner and so is Jacko.

“They know how much I love winning. So we’ll put all that to one side for a short period and we’ll do battle.”

It means the only favour Robinson intends to do for the Londoners this week is helping staff get tickets, as the away end is sold out.

Charlton arrive as Sky Bet League One’s form side, but United are not far behind.

Robinson said: “They’ve got a great team with great players and a connection with each other.

“But so have we.

“I’m really excited because I think it could be one of the best footballing games I’ve seen for a long time.”

He added: “In the last eight games it’s automatic (promotion) form – two points per game.

“If this side was fit all season I 100 per cent believe we’d be in it (the play-off battle).

“You saw the game the other day against Wimbledon, we dominated it.”

United’s run has been excellent, but has come against teams outside the top six.

And with big decisions to be made on players’ futures, performances against Charlton, Doncaster Rovers and Luton Town in the final fortnight could make all the difference.

Robinson said: “We’re speaking about bringing some of the loan players back, but they have to prove it in these big games that they can do the same again. That’s been our message.

“I wish we’d had these big testing games before this. I really need a benchmark for some of the players that we’ve had questions over.

“For instance, Josh Ruffels and Longy (Sam Long) at full back have been brilliant in the last ten games.

“But it will be really good to see them against some top teams moving to the end of the season.”