COMPETITION is high in the Oxford United squad ahead of Saturday’s visit of Gillingham, says Karl Robinson.

The U’s welcomed Cameron Brannagan, Elliott Moore, Sam Winnall and Marcus McGuane back to training on Tuesday, with Jamie Hanson the only player still sidelined.

Following last weekend’s defeat at Cheltenham Town, Robinson said those who trained best this week would feature against Gillingham.

And United’s head coach revealed there has been an extra intensity over the last few days.

“The competitiveness has been incredible,” he said.

“It gives (players) confidence and a bit of fear.

“It’s every man for himself and that’s the mentality that you want.

“You want a driven group of people who want to achieve something together, but equally compete against each other.

"That's the beauty of it as a manager, when you've been somewhere a long time.

"All the players know what's expected here, we never move the goalposts."

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The Cheltenham trip was the first Sky Bet League One fixture Brannagan has missed in 2021, while Moore played every minute in the league last season.

They are in contention to return against Gillingham, while Winnall has been a regular off the bench.

McGuane has not played since August 24 due to a thigh problem, but Robinson hopes to have the midfielder fully fit by the time Stevenage visit in the Papa John’s Trophy on October 5.

He said: “Hopefully the first time we see Marcus will be in the Papa John’s in a few weeks’ time, but having him back on the training ground is really exciting for all of us.”