OXFORD United’s staff are visiting a Formula 1 team in order to learn more about sports science.

United’s head coach Karl Robinson said staff from the club are set to go to Oxfordshire-based Alpine this week.

The Enstone team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship – behind the big three of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Alpine’s drivers for the 2022 season were two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, and France’s Esteban Ocon.

Prior to United’s last game, the 1-1 draw at home to Forest Green Rovers, the U’s had played four matches in November. Forest Green though had played just twice.

Robinson stressed that those sorts of circumstances are when sports science and medical teams come to the fore.

“This is where we do call upon the money we put into our performance team,” he said.

“We’re going to Alpine in Formula 1, just to try and see if there’s any more we can learn from other sports.

“We’re now speaking about going out externally as a football club and starting to do more research on individual sportspeople and what other people do, and what is best practice because we never want to stop learning.

“That’s part of our philosophy here, is that we always want to be better.

“We always want to be better in what we do, in what we know, and have a stronger handle over the elite detail.

“When you’re speaking about the small percentages, that actually costs you a lot more money than the bigger percentages.

“That’s the bit that people find really fascinating – we’ve now spent a lot more money on just them one or two per cents.

“The thousands of pounds we’ve put into the food, nutrition, pitches, sports science team, gym, into the testing equipment to support injury prevention.

“All of the things that we do within our medical and sport science team, are truly incredible.”

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After a run of five consecutive weeks playing midweek games, the U’s now play on weekends only until the Boxing Day clash at Ipswich Town.

Robinson said his coaching staff will use this time to watch football games abroad, in order to pick up new ideas when it comes to sports science.

He said: “Now it’s about us being even better, and we’ve got to a level now where we’re sourcing other opportunities away from our own building, to learn and to come back better.

“That’s one of the things as a manager I’ve always been on the front foot about, is your own personal CPD [continuing professional development].

“In these moments where we don’t have midweek games, the staff are going to start watching different levels of games, go abroad and see different teams, and see how they work.”