IT is a big night in Oxford United’s season – but Karl Robinson is not getting too excited.

Although the U’s are not in action, their three direct rivals in the Sky Bet League One play-off race – Blackpool, Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic – all have potentially crucial games.

United’s win over Plymouth Argyle on Saturday lifted them to fifth in the table, but with two points separating four teams they could find themselves eighth by 9pm.

Results could also swing the other way, however experience has taught Robinson not to look too far ahead.

His first three seasons at MK Dons, from 2010/11 onwards, each brought League One play-off challenges, with the Buckinghamshire side finishing fifth in the first two campaigns and eighth in 2012/13.

Read also: Karl Robinson hit with second FA charge over Sunderland clash

Having been in this situation before, the U’s manager knows he must keep a level head.

“This isn’t new to a lot of us, this is the norm,” Robinson said.

“I’ve been involved in this situation a number of times over the last 12 years and that helps you.

“I would have got carried away with this position a few years ago.

“I’ve had things like this taken away from me, but I’ve also had things like this given to me.

“The calmness is what stabilises an awful lot of your talent and results.”

Robinson also reached the play-offs with United 12 months ago, but there was no late-season drama as the campaign was decided on points per game due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Sykes: Points in the bag better than games in hand in play-off race

Many of the U’s squad will be checking in on Blackpool and Portsmouth’s respective trips to Sunderland and Accrington Stanley, as well as Charlton’s home match against Crewe Alexandra.

Mark Sykes will be looking out for the results – if nine-month-old daughter Remy allows.

The midfielder said: “I’ll keep an eye on them, you have to.

“I’ll be on my phone anyway, or I’m sure I’ll see it on Sky.

“I’ll be with my little girl, no doubt she’ll have us on our toes running around after her.

“I’ll have my phone in hand, hoping whoever’s playing the teams around us win.”