ANTHONY Forde is ready to make the most of Oxford United’s lighter fixture list in September.

This is the U’s first free midweek since the Sky Bet League One season began at Cambridge United a month ago today.

And their exit from the Carabao Cup means United will not play on a Tuesday night until current table-toppers Accrington Stanley visit on September 28.

It creates a weekly routine that is less about recovery and more about spending time on the training pitch.

After last season’s congested schedule, when the campaign started a month later due to coronavirus, Forde revealed the bigger gap between matches will not get too many complaints.

The Irishman said: “At the moment we probably do (prefer it), because the last year has been crazy.

“It’s been Saturday-Tuesday since we got back.

“It’s good to get on the training pitch and work on other stuff.

“It’ll be nice to have that little break in between the games.

“It’s a good chance to practice stuff you don’t get to usually.”

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United squeezed nine games into the first 28 days of the season, with their Carabao Cup first-round win over Burton Albion adding one more.

If they had beaten Queens Park Rangers at the next stage they would have been playing in the third round in a fortnight’s time.

Instead the U’s have just five matches this month, with their 3-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon followed by Saturday’s home game against Wycombe Wanderers and the trip to Cheltenham Town on September 18.

United host Gillingham seven days after that, before ending the month against Accrington.

The U’s spent extra time on the training pitch last week working on a few areas Karl Robinson thought had been ‘sloppy’ in the early weeks of the campaign.

United’s head coach added set-pieces to that list after conceding from a corner and a free-kick at Wimbledon.

It is an important week, with Saturday their first game against Wycombe since last July’s League One play-off final.

Robinson said: “The breaks fall into line with recovery and the first five games put a line under that now.

“There’s a game on Saturday that a lot of fans will be looking forward to.

“The fixture list is relatively exciting in the next few games and we’ve got to make sure that we’re at our best to be ultra-competitive.”