OXFORD United have altered their regime this week to give players a chance to refresh themselves.

A draining schedule has seen them play ten matches in the opening 35 days of the season.

It is hoped getting away from each other for a few days will refresh a side who have slipped to 20th in Sky Bet League One following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood Town.

And the group should be boosted by the return of several players when they reconvene tomorrow.

This is the only blank midweek between mid-August and early October, so the players were given yesterday off.

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Today’s session has also been changed to tomorrow, allowing a block of rest which boss Karl Robinson feels is very necessary.

He said: “I think we need that.

“We’ve not had a day off in a long time now.

“I think a break from each other gives us that respite and we’ll be ready and raring to go for Saturday.

“We just hope we can come back stronger from this and be a better team because of it. I’m sure they will.

“There’s mental and physical fatigue.

“We just didn’t have that zest for the game (at Fleetwood) that we have generally had.”

On top of the games, United have already covered more than a quarter of their total league mileage following trips to Sunderland, Blackpool and Fleetwood.

But they will have Ben Woodburn and Mark Sykes back in the group tomorrow after time away on international duty.

It is hoped Tariqe Fosu will be back up to speed by the end of the week after a hamstring issue.

George Thorne will be training again following a calf strain, while the head coach also suggested Matty Taylor could be back in the picture after making progress in his recovery from a groin injury.

He said: “We just hope Woody comes back fresh and fit, Matty gets through the week, T gets through the week and you’re a different team then.”

Robinson did not use the schedule as an excuse for the loss at Highbury.

But he did feel both teams on Saturday were showing the strain of a hectic start.

He said: “I think the EFL in general has to have a good look at how fixtures fall and how we plan our season.

“These players aren’t robots.

“The game showed two teams who looked very tired.

“You can’t charge fans less because teams are tired.

“They want to see two teams go hell for leather at each other and see tremendous energy in the game.”