KARL Robinson has pulled the plug on one Oxford United signing at the last-minute – because the player refused to do a running test.

The U’s manager revealed a deal was close to being struck, with the two parties well down the line in agreeing personal terms.

However, when the player was about to undergo a medical and was informed part of that process was a run, he refused.

Robinson said all discussions with the target ended there and then.

“Before we sign a player they have to complete a fitness test, which sometimes doesn’t go down too well,” he said.

“We want them to do a running test. To pass our medical you have to complete a certain distance in a certain time.

“We had a player here who did not want to do it, so we didn’t go with the deal.”

While disappointed, Robinson was philosophical about the move collapsing and insisted it was something he has seen in the past.

But however talented the player in question might have been, United’s boss will not change his approach.

He believes the desire and attitude of an individual will be critical to bringing success to the U’s.

“I have seen people do it before and fall short,” he said.

“Sam Allardyce used to do it at Blackburn when I was with him. Part of the medical was a running test to prove they have a physical capacity to cope with their style.

“Looking at some of our recruitment last summer, the one thing high up there was that distance covered was down, speed was down and our metres per minute was down.

“Part of our recruitment system here is to find players that can cope with the physical demands of our style.

“And I am not going to apologise to ask a player to do a run. Maybe some players can’t do it?”

He added: “There are some people you might thing are great players but don’t have the running capacity – they mask it in some way.

“We can’t hide from that any more. We have got to be one of the fittest teams in the league.

“To achieve success you have to run further, faster and be prepared to put yourself through a wall. What you have to go through psychologically and physically is tough.”