JOEL Cooper’s lack of action while on international duty with Northern Ireland has been a source of frustration for Oxford United boss Karl Robinson.

The winger was an unused substitute for the 1-0 defeat away to Norway last night in the UEFA Nations League.

That was progress for the uncapped 24-year-old, who was left out of the squad altogether for matches against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Austria in the past week.

Northern Ireland called up 26 players for the three matches, but could only name a matchday squad of 23.

Cooper, who joined the U’s in the summer, missed the EFL Trophy tie against Bristol Rovers and the Sky Bet League One defeat to Gillingham on Saturday while away on international duty.

Robinson got into a war of words with the Northern Ireland set-up in 2018 over a call-up for Gavin Whyte.

While the U’s boss wanted to avoid a repeat, there is disappointment about the wasted trip.

Robinson said: “Let’s not get caught up in the Karl Robinson and Irish FA debate once again.

“I’m not happy, but I’m not going to publicly criticise any individual.

“You’ve got a new manager trying to win his first games and I’m sure he needs all the players available and raring to go for different campaigns.

“Joel’s not found his rhythm. He would have started in the game here (last week).

“Why could they not leave him with us and he could have travelled on Sunday to be involved if he was needed in the third game?

“They had four players who didn’t take the bench.

“He’s the only one that missed any football.”