RYAN Ledson hopes Oxford United’s training camp this week can have a similar impact on results to their previous getaway.

Pep Clotet’s men returned yesterday from a 72-hour stay at Gibraltar Barracks in Surrey, where the usual training schedule was supplemented by other activities.

While the main goal for such a trip – bringing the players closer together – is the same as last season, the mood was very different.

Last November, the U’s were fifth bottom in the Sky Bet League One table when Michael Appleton’s side spent two days at Bisham Abbey.

It was painful at the time, but cleared the air and turned out to be a turning point in the season, with just two defeats coming in their next 19 games.

United’s solid start this time around means there has been no need for soul-searching, but Ledson does believe the extra time away will improve their chances, starting against Walsall tomorrow.

“I think it does, because you usually look at going home straight away after training, but here you are with them for 24 hours and everybody’s together,” the 20-year-old said.

“You could arguably say our season started after Bisham last year.

“It was a real coming together, everyone getting out of their comfort zone to get everything off their chests.

“From then we kicked on and had a good season.

“(Appleton and Clotet) are different managers and this has been more activity-based, it’s more about interacting and getting everyone together.”

Despite United sitting tenth in the table ahead of the Saddlers’ visit, the trip has been well-timed after a testing week.

The side were collectively off-colour in a wretched first half at Blackpool on Saturday, eventually going down 3-1.

It came four days after conceding a last-gasp goal to draw 2-2 with Bradford City.

Ledson said: “The goal (Romain) Vincelot scored in the last minute knocked the stuffing out of us maybe going into the Blackpool game.

“It’s fully put to bed now.”

Ledson admits his teammates have been quick to pull his leg after being unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight.

The midfielder was chosen as the League One representative to market the FIFA 18 computer game, alongside John Terry and Adebayo Akinfenwa, which is the start of a partnership between the Football League and EA Sports.

He said: “It was a bit of a surprise to me.

“I think it’s because I’d had my shots done at Everton when I was in the first team there and they’ve obviously taken them over.

“The lads have given me some stick about it, but it’s alright.”

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  • Ryan Ledson (in yellow) alongside (from left): Adebayo Akinfenwa, John Terry, Lee Cattermole and David Meyler  Picture: Twitter @EASPORTSFIFA