KARL Robinson believes there is no way round restarting the season behind closed doors.

Today marks four weeks since the season was initially shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The English Football League wrote to its 71 clubs yesterday to give an update on the situation.

And Rick Parry, the EFL’s chairman felt it was a “working assumption at this stage” that games would need to be played behind closed doors.

Before the lockdown, Oxford United’s boss was keen to avoid such a scenario, but he now thinks it will be tough to avoid.

“I think it’s inevitable and we have to get our heads around that,” Robinson said.

“People will be able to watch it over the media player and right now that’s better than nothing.

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“We don’t want to play without the fans, but I think they’d much rather we were playing and had a way of seeing their team than what we’ve got at the moment.”

The EFL agreed last week to delay restarting the season until it was safe to do so.

Parry though felt once they had got the green light the season could be concluded in 56 days.

United, who were due to host Bristol Rovers today, have nine matches left in Sky Bet League One, the same number they squeezed into February.

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But one club in the National League still has 12 games remaining, while the eight-week period also includes time for the play-offs, with the intention to retain the two-legged semi-finals.

The league have advised clubs not to restart training until at least May 16.

Given they would need at least a fortnight to get their players back up to speed, it would effectively mean competitive games could not start until June.

Robinson though felt it was hard to forecast that far in advance.

He said: “Nobody actually knows. They’re talking about May 16, but I don’t think that’s right either.

“Has somebody got a crystal ball?

“If this lockdown gets eased over the next three or four weeks, then we’d have to be back in.

“Or is our lockdown going to be longer than everybody else’s?

“I just think there’s so many unanswered questions right now.”

One thing the U’s head coach is certain about is the need to stay disciplined, which will be tested with warm weather forecast over Easter.

He said: “I hope people do really respect what the government are saying and let’s not be silly over this weekend.

“I know it’s hard, we’re all in the same situation.

“The more we do this in the correct manner the quicker we’ll be back to normality.”