TUESDAY evening may have not gone to plan, but Oxford United believe what happened next will help their chances of winning tomorrow.

After a goalless draw at Bolton Wanderers, supporters made a swift exit to battle the overnight closures on the M6.

But the team bus stayed in Greater Manchester, with United using their hotel stay after the game, instead of before it.

A recovery session followed in the morning, before the squad headed south on Wednesday afternoon.

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Boss Karl Robinson felt it was the best option to manage a week where they will have clocked up more than 600 miles by the time the bus returns from Lincoln City tomorrow.

He said: “If we had come back after the game the players wouldn’t have got home until 3.30am, so they wouldn’t have slept and would have been like zombies all day on Wednesday.

“The two natural forms of recovery are sun and sleep. We can control the sleep.

“We’re back up north again on Friday.

“So it’s just about making sure the players are putting themselves in the right place.

“These are things people don’t generally see but is something we’ve moved forward on.

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“It gives us the greatest opportunity of performing at our top level on Saturday.”

There are also benefits when it comes to injury prevention, with players able to have treatment on Wednesday morning.

And while it allowed players to get to be earlier, for some in particular the boost will have come from missing out on an early-morning wake-up call.

Robinson said: “You always worry about people with kids, because if they got in at 3.30am they would have been woken up quite early.

“These are all little things you’ve got to think about – how they sleep, how they wake up and how they eat. It’s just nice if you can control it.”

How the United boss would love to have that sort of influence over performances and results.

Despite coming up against a revitalised side on Tuesday, the perception is two points were dropped against Bolton.

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But having beaten Tranmere Rovers 3-0 last weekend, there is still the chance to make this a good week if they can get a positive result at Lincoln.

The issue is consistency, but United are not alone.

Robinson said: “To prepare for the next game we watch three matches from the opposition.

“You watch one and think ‘they’re not very good’, then after the next one you think ‘uh oh, they’re really good’.

“Then they get beat the week before they play us and you think ‘there’s a pattern here’.

“Everyone who left our stadium on Saturday would have thought Peterborough would go and win at Tranmere in midweek, yet they go and draw 2-2.

“Consistency comes from your mentality. You have to stay very constant and calm with your messages.”