KARL Robinson has advised Oxford United’s players to make the most of their break – because next week will be tough.

Ipswich Town were due to visit the Kassam Stadium today, but the Sky Bet League One leaders postponed the clash due to international call-ups.

That created an 11-day gap between last Tuesday’s 4-1 win at Crawley Town in the Leasing.com Trophy and the league trip to Southend United next weekend.

The players have been given an opportunity to enjoy a rest after a terrific 14-game unbeaten run.

Read also: Karl Robinson column: Training ground deal helps Oxford United plan bright future

But the success has left Robinson plotting how to shake things up in a bid to avoid anyone going stale.

The U’s head coach said: “I don’t think at any stage you should stand still. You should constantly keep demanding more of people.

“We had a meeting on Monday morning where we felt a few things could be a bit better around the building.

“When you keep winning and doing the same things at some stage the brain sets itself as that’s the norm.

“When they come back in on Monday they will be in for a shock.”

Fitness coach Chris Short has devised a gruelling mini pre-season for the U’s squad at the start of next week.

“The day they come back there will be a presentation of what they have to achieve now,” Robinson said.

“It will be straight to the point.

“I can’t tell you how Shorty described it, but the words he used were very poignant.”

Robinson is watching Swindon Town’s visit to Salford City today as he scouts strikers, before taking in Tranmere Rovers’ clash with Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow.

One option for the break in fixtures would have been a group trip abroad, but it was rejected.

The United boss said: “The best time to do that is when you’re not winning, because it can help bring people together.

“Sometimes when you are winning people get a bit too comfortable and do a few silly things.

“I speak all the time about kids and partners – they are the reason we do this job.

“So if I was to take, for instance, Easty away from his wife and two kids, that’s not good management.

“Because being able to take your kids to and from school is far better than going on a holiday with the lads.

“Sometimes a break from each other is good.”

It is hoped the chance to recharge will reap dividends, with at least nine games scheduled between November 30 and January 1.

But that does not guarantee a big display at Roots Hall a week today.

Robinson said: “With this rest, don’t expect to see us fresh for Southend.

“People will say that’s crazy, but we said it last season.

“We came back from a little break and looked horrendous, but it helped us after Christmas.”