KARL Robinson is relishing the chance to see Oxford United fans again – but revealed some notable figures will watch next Tuesday's clash with Blackpool from afar.

The U’s are set to welcome a limited number of supporters to the Kassam Stadium for their Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final first leg a week tonight.

The game comes a day after the next easing of coronavirus restrictions, when sporting venues will be allowed to hold 10,000 spectators or 25 per cent of capacity, whichever is lower.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday promised to ‘unlock the turnstiles of our sports stadia subject to capacity limits’ as he confirmed supporters would be allowed in from May 17 as planned.

It could see just over 3,000 U’s fans attend next Tuesday’s game, but there will be some empty seats in the directors’ box.

United chairman Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth and directors Anindya Bakrie and Horst Geicke are based in the Far East, so are unlikely to travel over for the play-offs.

“That’s one of our big motivations, that there will be people in here next time that we play,” U’s head coach Robinson said.

“I mentioned those people far away who are devastated they can’t get on a plane and get over here.

“They believe it’s right to respect the government guidelines and not to duck and dive around them.”

Away followings are still not allowed in grounds, so next Friday’s second leg is set to be watched by around 4,000 Blackpool fans only.

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United played three home games in front of supporters when restrictions were briefly relaxed last December.

The 1-1 draw with Hull City was limited to 1,000 fans, but 2,000 were allowed in for the Papa John’s Trophy clash with Forest Green Rovers and the 4-0 triumph over Northampton Town.

United have not officially released details about next Tuesday’s game, but managing director Niall McWilliams confirmed season-ticket holders will get priority, like for the three games earlier in the campaign.

“Our season-ticket holders and the people that have been buying iFollow passes, along with the shareholders, have kept us alive,” he told BBC Radio Oxford.

“We’ll work on getting as many in as we possibly can safely and within government guidelines.”