KARL Robinson says his players were feeling fatigued towards the end of the season as he looks forward to taking a break himself now the campaign is over.

The league season was a congested one, starting later than usual on September 12, with the 2-0 defeat at Lincoln City.

Thrown into that was a fixture pile-up for the United with five games called off due to Covid outbreaks within their opponents’ squads.

The combination of the later start to the season and postponements left the U’s playing Tuesday-Saturday for much of the season.

See also: U’s must ‘act like a Championship club’ to replace Short, says Robinson

That physical strain impacted the United players, said Robinson.

“I’m not embarrassed to say that we were starting to feel the fatigue,” he said.

“I think the play-offs took a lot out of us.”

Despite falling short in the 6-3 aggregate defeat to Blackpool in the play-offs, in addition to the 2-1 play-off final defeat to Wycombe Wanderers the year before, Robinson said he was still pleased with his side’s efforts over the last two seasons.

“It’s a tremendous testament to any team at this level to get two consecutive play-off campaigns,” he said.

“It shows you you’re consistently putting yourself up there with the big boys, way above our spending prowess.

“For the lads to do that, I’m really proud of them.”

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Regarding his own break, Robinson said he needs time with his family, although he admitted that would come with work off the pitch as the U’s seek another crack at promotion next season.

“I’ll get two or three weeks off which I’m looking forward to,” he said.

“They’ll be littered with phone calls and conference calls.

“The problem with the world we live in is that you can be anywhere in the world and have constant conversation with people through the eyes of a device.

“I’ve worked every day in my life and that’ll never change.

“I’ll hopefully be able to spend time on holiday with my family somewhere, which is something I feel I do need personally.”