KARL Robinson reckons the January transfer window could be a slow burner as clubs ‘take stock’ in uncertain times.

Dozens of matches across English football have been postponed in the last fortnight, with Covid and injuries leaving teams unable to put out a side.

It has added an extra dimension to a notoriously difficult window and Robinson thinks it could be a waiting game this year.

The Oxford United head coach said: “I think a lot of business will be done very late.

“That’s just the nature of the current situation, to what extent I don’t know yet.

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“We’ll have a better understanding over the next seven days of how everything’s going on.

“None of us quite know how it’s going to land.

“In the next seven days you’ll start seeing how aggressive people are or how available players are.

“Then you can take stock from the middle part of the window.

“Hopefully we can get some work done early, but if we can’t we’ll wait and see how it falls.”

United did not announce last year’s first January signing, Luke McNally, until three days before the end of the window.

The U’s have already completed a significant piece of business, having paid to remove the recall clause from Herbie Kane’s season-long loan from Barnsley.

They have the maximum 22 outfield players in their squad, although the last couple of months have shown how easily that number is slashed.

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A Covid outbreak meant United had just 14 and 15 senior players available for the November games against Fleetwood Town and Rotherham United respectively – and that included emergency loan goalkeeper Connal Trueman.

For last month’s defeat to Wigan Athletic, the U’s had just 13 members of their first-team squad to call on.

New English Football League (EFL) rules state clubs can only request to postpone fixtures if they have fewer than 14 senior players available, including a goalkeeper, and Robinson believes this could make clubs cautious.

He said: “The transfer window’s so unpredictable at any time of year – when you only have 30-odd days to do it, it’s even more unpredictable.

“Especially this year with Covid, you need so many players to stay in the building.

“All of a sudden it makes it difficult to do deals, because people are frightened of losing three or four and not having enough on the bench.

“You have to be really careful with players leaving your club.”

In previous seasons, Robinson has revealed the number of signings he wants to make in the transfer window.

This time, United’s head coach would not disclose his target figure.

“I know what I want, but I’ve got to be careful what I say,” he said.

“To talk about it externally isn’t right, because it puts extra pressure on this team that’s not necessary.”

The transfer window closed at 11pm on Monday, January 31.