KARL Robinson hopes Oxford United will have an ‘aggressive’ January transfer window if they stay in the play-off picture.

The U’s are seventh in Sky Bet League One, a point outside the top six, ahead of their return to action against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Robinson signed eight first-team players during the summer window to give United arguably their best squad in his three-and-a-half years at the club.

Read also: How Oxford United's summer signings have performed so far

The head coach expects the U’s to need more new recruits in January, but says they can be cautious as well as competitive.

He added: “Hopefully there will be one or two players coming in to make the squad even better.

“My job between now and then is to make sure we’re still in that position where we can see the play-offs.

“If we can still see them, we’d like to think we’d be so aggressive in January.

“You don’t want to overspend this year, that can be quite wasteful.

“We need to be calculated in our approach, as I think the league will be a bit different this time next year.

“That’s where we really have to put our best foot forward.”

Robinson was one of several League One bosses to speak out against the ‘ludicrous’ spending in the division this summer, revealing United would have to spend more than the previous year just to compete.

They paid fees for Marcus McGuane and Steve Seddon in the transfer window, while bringing in Nathan Holland, Gavin Whyte, Jordan Thorniley and Herbie Kane on loan.

Ryan Williams arrived on a free transfer, while Billy Bodin had been released by Preston North End when last season finished.

Read also: The Oxford United players who are out of contract at the end of this season

Another headache on the horizon is the nine first-team players out of contract next summer.

Elliott Moore, James Henry and Mark Sykes are among those whose deals expire at the end of the season.

Robinson knows it is early days, but says players’ futures will be decided by how they carry themselves off the pitch, as well as on it.

He said: “There’s an awful lot (of contracts) up this summer, but there’s a lot of minutes to be played and a lot of people who can affect their own careers.

“I say to all the players: We fundamentally have the final decision, but it’s made up of what you’ve done.

“If it’s not the answer that you want it’s because you haven’t been good enough in the season, or around the building when your chances haven’t materialised.

“It’s not just what people do on a football pitch, there’s certain players who really affect other people in a positive way.

“Sometimes you’re better off with them, than spending more money on a better player and destroy what you’re trying to achieve.

“Sometimes it’s hard for fans to understand why a player might not stay, but there’s always a reason.

“If you’re a good person and make the group and the team better with your talent, that’s the perfect player.”