KARL Robinson spoke of his affection for Oxford United ahead of a landmark game in his managerial career.

Tomorrow’s trip to Northampton Town will be the U’s head coach’s 150th game since taking over in March 2018.

His switch from Sky Bet League One rivals Charlton Athletic almost three years ago made sense for personal reasons, with United closer to Robinson’s family home.

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But in that time the 40-year-old has developed a real affinity for the U’s, even if he did not quite know what he was letting himself in for.

“I have to thank Oxford for giving me my family life back, which means a lot to me,” he said.

“If I'm truly honest, at the time I didn’t understand the size of the football club and why should I, I’m not from the area.

“I never got how passionate people were.

“Over the last 150 games I’ve come to understand how close the people of Oxford are to Oxford United.

“You don’t often get a Scouser saying he understands Oxfordshire, but it’s a wonderful place to live.”

Robinson came in for the final ten games of 2017/18 and steered United to 16th.

The U’s recovered from a bad start to end the next campaign 12th, before finishing 4th and reaching the play-off final in a Covid-interrupted 2019/20.

United have found form after beginning this season slowly and Robinson reflected on plenty of ups and downs.

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He said: “It’s been a phenomenal rollercoaster.

“Every year our position in the league has been a bit better and we’re disappointed how we’ve started the season, but I think everyone’s understood the reasons why.

“To reach 150 games is a shock, as I feel like I’ve not been here too long.

“Hopefully I’ve not outstayed my welcome.”

Despite being at United less than three years, Robinson is already the 20th longest-serving manager in the top four tiers of English football.

The U’s boss has brought in several rising stars before selling them for profit in that time and feels the set-up at the club aids that approach.

He said: “I think the structure that we have is conducive to bringing players in and moving them on.

“When you sell these players, the next one isn’t going to be at that level.

“Rob Dickie’s one of the best centre backs that I’ve worked with, but if you look at the two we’ve got now they’re hard to replace.”