KARL Robinson has revealed the secret behind lifting Oxford United’s spirits after their midweek heartbreak against Fleetwood Town – cancelling training.

The U’s went down to a stoppage-time winner against the Cod Army on Tuesday night in a game they had dominated.

In a bid to revive the squad ahead of Saturday’s crunch game against Southend United, Robinson decided to change tack on Thursday by leaving the training ground altogether.

He said: “We went to David Lloyd on Thursday and had a head tennis competition.

“We decided not to train, we wanted to change the atmosphere and the mentality, in a fun way.

“The players were excellent off the back of what happened on Tuesday. To respond how they did on Thursday morning was impeccable.

“We were so down after the game on Tuesday and it was just a case of taking them away from listening to my boring voice and talking tactics.”

It had the desired effect, with United running out 2-0 winners against Southend United on Saturday to ease their relegation concerns.

Although not everyone was happy with the outcome, according to Robinson.

He said: “The staff put a team in and came third, which was a bit disappointing. We lost a bit of money.

“Gino (van Kessel) was the star man and Lego (Ryan Ledson) got beaten in the final. As you can imagine he was sulking again - he got booked for kicking the ball away.”

He added: “It was just about enjoying being footballers.

“My brother’s a plasterer and my dad’s an electrician and they would give anything to have the opportunity to be a professional footballer.

“We’re in a very fortunate position to do what we do.

“It’s important we enjoy our time while we’re given the opportunity to work for such a great club.

“If you saw the laughing and joking that went on, it was brilliant.”

Skipper Curtis Nelson said: “We’ve had a lot of games and with tired legs it’s nice to go and have a bit of fun.

“It put smiles on everyone’s faces.

“It showed how together we are as a squad and we’ve never lost that, even when we’ve been struggling.

“The positivity has always been there, even when we haven’t won.”