KARL Robinson urged Oxford United to “act like a big club” and get a couple of deals over the line before the weekend after feeling their attacking deficiencies were exposed in defeat at Doncaster Rovers.

They went down to a 1-0 reverse in Yorkshire, despite dominating long spells of the game.

It was only the side’s second loss in 16 Sky Bet League One matches, but the result saw them drop from second to fourth.

Robinson believes the U’s are close to sealing moves for a midfield player and a winger – and wants those extra options in ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Hartlepool United.

He said: “It’s glaringly obvious, everyone knows what we need, so we need to get these deals done sooner rather than later.

“The things we’ve lined up short-term are exciting.

“I know the board want that to happen, but we have to be forceful in this transfer window.

“We have to act like a big club, we can’t talk like a big club.”

United’s head coach also moved to dampen speculation over Cameron Brannagan’s future after leaving him out of the squad at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The midfielder will also be missing against Hartlepool, but it is down to the knee injury he has been managing over the festive period.

Robinson said: “I think everybody saw the other day he was starting to feel his knee a little bit.

“I risked him in the first three games and we got three wins. Risking him for a fourth could be crazy.”

United could hardly have come closer to forcing an equaliser.

Matty Taylor hit the post with one header which was then hacked away, before having another shot cleared off the line in a display which was reminiscent of the 2-1 loss at Blackpool in August.

Rob Dickie said: “It’s a couple of games that haven’t gone our way. We’ll work on being a bit more clinical against that sort of set-up.

“If you go to Blackpool and Doncaster and dominate them like that it’s a credit to the side and the coaches.”

Fellow centre back John Mousinho added: “It’s tough to unlock a defence like that, where they had 11 men behind the ball for large swathes of the second half.

“It’s hard to break down, but that’s the sort of thing we’re going to have to face if we’re going to have any success this season.”