Oxford United: League One side to return to training after negative tests

Oxford United seat
Oxford United have not played at second-tier level since the 1998-99 season

Oxford United will return to training on Monday after the club confirmed that their entire squad and first-team staff tested negative for coronavirus.

Oxford were third in League One prior to football's suspension in March.

The U's are set to be involved in the play-offs if the decision is taken to end the season at its current point.

Clubs will vote on a framework for concluding a curtailed season on Tuesday, with a vote about the outcome of the third tier likely to follow.

The English Football League's recommendation retains the end-of-season play-offs to determine the final promotion spot, with Oxford finishing fourth if final positions are decided by an unweighted points-per-game method.

Some clubs have put forward amendments to the EFL's proposal or suggested alternative methods for deciding final places.

Testing at Oxford was conducted on Friday, while players came out of furlough on Saturday before their planned return to training.

"It will be great to be together as I think everyone has missed the atmosphere at the training ground," boss Karl Robinson said.

"We are a long way off a full return, though. Monday will be done in small groups of five players, all respecting the guidelines and safely distanced from each other and the staff."

Players will be required to wash their own kit and no meals will be prepared when they return to training.

The main building at their Oxford Sports Park training facility will also be closed off to players as the club enforces social distancing.

"There's a serious point to be made as well, which is that although this is good news for us, the pandemic still hasn't gone away," Robinson added.

"We have told the players that now they need to be more cautious than ever before and to respect all of the safety guidelines. We hope our fans will continue to do that as well."

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