KARL Robinson appealed for calm despite Oxford United’s prospects looking “a little bit dark” as they head into the final week of pre-season.

Having struggled to strengthen in key areas all summer, they now look set to get weaker on the eve of the Sky Bet League One campaign.

On Saturday, Robinson admitted he expected Gavin Whyte to leave this week, with the winger potentially even having a medical at Cardiff City today.

While United stand to make a huge profit on a player signed for about £100,000 only a year ago, the figures mentioned are half the head coach’s valuation last month.

Robinson said: “We were talking £3.5-4m, but people don’t know what the sell-ons and add-ons are.

“It’s not what you always read.

“There are other things attached to the deal which make it very lucrative and a clever one moving forward.

“It’s north of £2m with everything in, so that’s a phenomenal turnover.”

He added: “Unless you’re Real Madrid it’s about bringing players in at a good price, recycling and moving on.

“Does that make anybody happy? No, but you have to understand the business constraints of any club.”

Whyte’s imminent exit means United would need to bring in four players, rather than three.

Robinson has seen several deadlines come and go without any progress this month, which has led to mounting concern among supporters.

And with the start of the season now just five days away he is well aware they need to see action, rather than words.

He said: “We know we need a striker, I don’t need people telling me that. We know we need a centre back and two wingers.

“But I’m not Paul Daniels, where you can get a magic wand and suddenly there’s a player.

“I said at Woking the next seven days was important and I’m saying it again 14 days on. That’s certainly got to be the case.

“I’m so tired right now because of the amount of work we’re putting in.

“But we have to stick together and find the right solution.

“It looks a little bit dark right now and we’re not shying away from it.”

Amid the anger among supporters, there has been a sympathy for Robinson’s position.

The focus has switched to owner Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, but the U’s boss says he had assurances money would be invested before the Cardiff bid.

“We already had bids on the table just short of £500,000 before Gavin,” he said.

“I get everybody’s frustration, but imagine being in the middle of it.

“People will be shouting when they read this, saying ‘the season starts on Saturday’.

“We know, we’re not stupid.

“Everyone is working their socks off to try to make the best of the situation.”