WHATEVER happens in today’s play-off final, Karl Robinson expects Sky Bet League One to be even more competitive next season.

Sunderland face Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley at 3pm, with the winner earning a place in the Sky Bet Championship for 2022/23.

It concludes a fierce League One promotion race where Oxford United finished eighth with 76 points, a tally that would have been enough to reach the play-offs in the previous 11 seasons.

READ MORE: Oxford United confirm contract decisions for four players

Meanwhile, Wycombe needed an unprecedented 83 points to snatch a top-six place on the last day of the campaign.

Logic suggests next term will be different, but Robinson warned it could be even tougher to get out of League One.

“The league’s going to be better,” the U’s head coach said.

“Ipswich, Charlton, Portsmouth and Bolton will have a go.

“Three of that four (who reached the play-offs) are still going to be in this league with Derby County, Barnsley and Peterborough coming down (from the Championship).

“I only foresee it getting harder to try to stay in the top ten and that’s something we’ve got to be better at as well.”

The ten teams Robinson mentioned did not include Plymouth Argyle, who finished seventh after missing out on the play-offs on the final day of the season.

The strength of the League One promotion race and the limitations of the division’s strugglers created a freakishly large gap between top and bottom.

In most seasons, teams need around 50 points to survive relegation and collect somewhere in the low to mid 70s to finish in the top six.

But this term there was a mammoth 43-point gap between Wycombe and Gillingham, who were in the ‘top’ relegation spot of 21st.

The four teams who went down will be replaced by Forest Green Rovers, Exeter City, Bristol Rovers and one of Mansfield Town or Port Vale, who contest the Sky Bet League Two play-off final.

Asked if he expects the points tally for the play-offs to be just as high next season, Robinson said he hopes the strength of the promoted clubs will redress the balance.

READ MORE: Oxford United midfielder going for gold after winning semi-final

He added: “I’d like to say no, because I’ve seen other years where it’s been so much higher than the following year.

“There are some big teams in the top seven of the league below so they’re only going to make the league stronger.

“This year the bottom part of the league was so disconnected.

“We always say 50 points is the benchmark so if this (the promotion race) gets stronger, that gets lower.

“I don’t think it’s so much about the top teams, I think it’s about how strong the league is from top to bottom and that’s what balances out the averages.

“That’s where the averages will hopefully come down, because it’s going to be hard.”