OXFORD United will have a new face looking to prove themselves in training this morning.

But instead of a playing addition, which is thought to be close, the group has been bolstered by Craig Short.

The 52-year-old joins as first-team coach, filling the gap left earlier this week when Derek Fazackerley moved to a new role.

A rugged centre half by trade, Short has spent more than a decade in a variety of coaching roles, most recently in charge of Derby County’s under 23 set-up.

He joins at a good moment, with the squad travelling to Wales for a pre-season training camp.

The sessions begin early this morning, giving Short a chance to make an impression.

“It’s another challenge to settle in and develop relationships,” he said.

“And to prove yourself as well, to make sure I’m doing the right things for them.

“I’m just hoping to slip into it smoothly. I’m not a shouter or a bawler, I like to think I’m pretty calm.

“I’ve mellowed a lot since I was a player.”

Short has known U’s boss Karl Robinson since a brief spell in charge at Notts County a decade ago.

Indeed, it was the then-MK Dons manager who tipped him off the spell at Meadow Lane was coming to an end.

“The first time I (spoke to) Karl was a phone call warning me I was getting the sack,” he said.

“I was grateful for that little heads-up and I’ve always got on with him.”

The main character reference though came from his brother Chris, who has been United’s head of physical performance since November 2018.

With Chris living in Yorkshire, he stays at Craig’s house in Bicester during the week, so had a good feel for the club.

And the pair are used to working together, having been in the same squad at three different clubs during their playing days.

Craig said: “I know how much he loves it here. I know he’s been attracting one or two other clubs, but he’s so happy here working for Karl.

“I was abroad watching (the play-off final) and I was devastated for the fans and my brother, but you’ve got a real platform last year taking on Man City and Newcastle, playing really well and looking like a Premiership side.”