KARL Robinson insists Oxford United ‘tried everything’ to fulfil today’s fixture with Wigan Athletic in the wake of a Covid outbreak in the camp.

The Sky Bet League One game at the DW Stadium was postponed at 11.30am after seven U’s players tested positive for the virus.

Robinson named those who tested positive as John Mousinho, Jordan Thorniley, Elliott Moore, Mark Sykes, Simon Eastwood, Matty Taylor and Anthony Forde.

The U’s head coach, who only last month was forced to isolate with Covid, also revealed ‘one or two’ staff members have the virus.

United called off the game in consultation with Wigan and the English Football League (EFL), but the time of the announcement meant fans were already well on the way to the north west.

Robinson said: “We feel terrible. We know fans pay an awful lot of money and would’ve been on the road.

“We’re already speaking about different ways to give something back to the fans as an apology.

“Whatever it takes we try to meet our obligations to play in this competition.

“Health and welfare comes first and foremost, but we believe in playing regardless of injuries and illness. If we have a fit team we’ll take the pitch.”

Robinson had earlier confirmed a player tested positive on Wednesday and was told to stay away from the camp, before a round of negative swabs on Thursday.

The squad travelled up to the north west yesterday and stayed in a hotel overnight.

The U’s boss insisted no more players were found to have the virus in a round of tests at 9pm last night, but some reported feeling unwell this morning.

The first few positive tests were recorded at 9am, at which point Robinson said the EFL and Wigan were notified.

Eastwood’s positive test triggered last-minute attempts to bring in a goalkeeper on an emergency loan, with Jack Stevens recovering from glandular fever and Kie Plumley – who has only had one Covid vaccine - forced to isolate as a close contact.

Robinson said: “I rang six managers this morning to see what they had available.

“We could have got one in but he was in London so wouldn’t have got here in time.

“We tried everything. We couldn’t loan a goalkeeper from the Premier League, I don’t imagine anyone in the top ten of League One would loan us anyone.

“That left the Championship and we couldn’t get a deal done.”

It is the first time United have called a game off due to Covid cases in their own camp, with five fixtures postponed last season due to positive tests at their opponents.

Robinson added: “I called Leam at 9am to tell him the situation, because we’ve had people turn up to our stadium and it’s been a bit of a mess. I’m still very critical of that.”

Those players who tested positive have travelled back separately from the rest of the squad, who will all be tested when they arrive at the training ground on Monday.

Robinson insisted they are currently planning to fulfil Tuesday’s fixture against Fleetwood Town, with the U’s also in action next Saturday against Rotherham United.

“Hopefully we’ll have an update by midday on Monday,” he said.

“As we stand right now, we’re prepared to play on Tuesday.”