OXFORD United supporters may not share Wycombe Wanderers’ interpretation of tomorrow’s clash, but Karl Robinson believes his side must match their hosts’ intensity to stand a chance of winning.

Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth spoke of a “big derby” in his post-match comments following their 3-2 defeat at Charlton Athletic last weekend.

But while United’s biggest rivalry lies down the A420 rather than the M40, meetings with Wycombe have tended to be played out in a feisty atmosphere.

And like his opposite number, Robinson used the aftermath of last weekend’s game, a 2-1 defeat to Coventry City, to lay down a marker – this time aimed squarely at his own side.

When the U’s boss spoke of his players struggling when teams got in their faces, it was with tomorrow’s game in mind.

“That’s part of the reason why I said it,” Robinson said.

“Wycombe always play the same way, so it’s not like there’s any extra they can give.

“We’ve got to match their desire and application first and foremost.

“Talent is secondary when you come up against teams that have that work ethic like they do.

“We’ve just got to make sure we have that in abundance. I need to see an ability to win second balls, competing in challenges and winning them.”

Robinson also called for clearer heads from United, who have not dealt well with setbacks this season – losing every game in which the have fallen behind.

The head coach will be back on the touchline tomorrow after serving a two-game ban and knows a cool approach will be even more important in what is likely to be a fiery contest.

He said: “Sometimes you wait for an action in the game that really stirs it – a sending-off or a tackle early on can add fuel to the fire.

“We’ve got to stay calm and make sure we keep the right amount of people on the pitch and don’t let it boil over into anything silly.

“Control your temper, but in an aggressive way.”

Whether United like to acknowledge it or not, part of the issue is down to pressure brought about by their position in the table.

Although the defeat to Coventry was their first in five games in all competitions, just one win in Sky Bet League One leaves them second bottom, four places below Wycombe.

Robinson’s mitigation for the start is well-known, but he knows the position in the table must improve.

He said: “We’re not happy with it.

“We’ve had a horrendous start with injuries and things going against us.

“The fixture list hasn’t been kind, but we are where we are and we have to deal with every eventuality.

“You have to get yourself out of it, that’s as simple as it is.”