AFTER a torrential Tuesday, the good news for Oxford United is the forecast for Gillingham tomorrow is dry.

That will be of particular interest to the travelling fans in Priestfield’s uncovered Brian Moore Stand, but the U’s players will welcome a firmer surface.

While their midweek goalless draw with Ipswich Town, eventually, reached a conclusion, the pitch will have sapped energy levels.

Their opponents, meanwhile, had their feet up, but it is just merely the latest challenge United need to overcome to stay in the promotion hunt.

Boss Karl Robinson said: “If you were Gillingham you’d love to be playing a team who had put themselves through that type of intense fixture, but from our point of view we can make changes.

“We’ll sit down with one or two of them.

“It’s strange, when you say we’re bringing you out because they’re tired they moan, so they can’t use it as an excuse when they’re asked to play.

“We always knew this week was going to be hard once you put Ipswich in the middle of it.

“But it’s the price of doing all right.”

Taking something from the midweek meeting with the Tractor Boys felt essential for United, who had lost their previous two games in Sky Bet League One.

It narrowed the gap to the summit to four points, but the chasing pack is large and closing in.

While Gillingham start the weekend in 14th, they would be just three points behind United with a victory at Priestfield tomorrow.

Robinson admitted it was a venue he had never enjoyed great results, with United losing to an 89th-minute winner last season.

Despite their hosts’ position in the bottom half, Gillingham are looking up after putting together the longest unbeaten run in League One.

Steve Evans’s side have come through a tricky run against promotion challengers unscathed and will fancy their chances of avenging September’s 3-0 defeat at the Kassam Stadium.

Robinson said: “It’s a massive game.

“Peterborough, Ipswich and Portsmouth have all drawn against them in recent weeks, so you know it will be a difficult ask.

“I don’t worry about one game more than any other, they all get exactly the same attention to detail.

“Steve will have his players fully ready to get at us.

“The system will be the same. We know how hard that’s going to be to play against and they proved against West Ham (a 2-0 defeat in the FA Cup) at home the other week that they put up a very stern test.

“They were always in the game and in the first half were arguably the better team.

“We’re going to have to work hard.”

As for United’s form in 2020, it is not a concern.

The head coach said: “We feel that we’re in a good place.

“People will look and say we’ve only taken one point from the last nine in the league, but we don’t think our performances have been too bad.

“I thought we dominated Rotherham in the second half and then we go and draw with Ipswich, two teams that got relegated from the Championship last year.”