KARL Robinson hailed Oxford United’s ambition ahead of a key meeting that could see their stadium dream move a step closer to reality.

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet will decide this afternoon whether to let the U’s enter into negotiations to lease land at Stratfield Brake, south of Kidlington for 250 years.

United have earmarked the site for a new 18,000-capacity stadium, community and sports grounds and hotel, retail and conference facilities.

Initial plans were first revealed to U’s fans last week, but it has taken four years to reach this point with Stratfield Brake.

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Robinson was appointed head coach in March 2018, joining from Charlton Athletic, and has often talked about United’s potential.

A new stadium is a long way off even if councillors approve the club’s proposal today, but the 41-year-old believes it shows intent.

He said: “People always said ‘why would you leave Charlton to come to Oxford?’. These are things that were put in front of me three years ago.

“That’s how hard people have worked to find themselves in this moment.

“I’ve been part of this journey for three-and-a-half years and seen it first-hand.

“I’ve always spoken very openly of my excitement about what we’re trying to achieve.

“We’ve got a few years to enter that stadium as a Championship team and that’s got to be our objective.

“The training ground, the stadium, in the top half of League One and looking to the Championship all the time – what a great time to be an Oxford United fan.”

The U’s are seventh in Sky Bet League One and reached the play-offs in the last two seasons.

Last March, Robinson spoke about making United a ‘top-30’ side in England – which would mean pushing towards promotion from the Sky Bet Championship – within the next five years.

That came days before news emerged that the U’s wealthy investors, including directors Anindya Bakrie and Horst Geicke and former board member Erick Thohir, had submitted an offer for the majority stake in the club.

The deal is not yet done, although it is understood progress on the stadium could speed up the process.

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Robinson was keen to stress the benefit to the wider community, with United promising ‘new and improved’ grounds for teams that play at Stratfield Brake and complementary facilities.

He said: “It shows a tremendous community spirit – Kidlington Cricket Club and the rugby fields, the rehousing and regeneration of the area and the support we can show to that.

“We know people will be frustrated along the way because that’s the case with any big development like this.

“For Oxfordshire, it’s tremendous to have a place that we call home in an Oxford United-dominated area.

“It connects the club to the city again. Most football clubs are community hubs, they support wellbeing, local businesses and more people coming to the city.”