GETTING John Mousinho more involved in Oxford United’s coaching set-up is all part of laying foundations for the future, according to Karl Robinson.

The head coach revealed his captain had ‘taken a bit of stick’ from teammates last week when he was given a blue coach’s kit for the game against Portsmouth.

Mousinho was rested for the Trophy match, but unlike other senior teammates it did not mean a night off.

Instead the 33-year-old was a vocal presence on the touchline.

Mousinho has aspirations of becoming a manager and started doing his coaching badges a decade ago.

And while the defender has been a regular starter for the U’s this season, Robinson has one eye on what happens next.

He said: “Mous is a player, but he’s 33 now and his playing days are not too far away from coming to a close.

“There will be a day that I move on and if we want this club to keep getting better I need to make sure there’s people ready to step up and take that opportunity.

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“People who will keep the academy, keep the style, keep the shape.”

He added: “I’m not saying I’m grooming Mous to be the manager, but you’ve always got to have one eye on the future if certain things happen.

“You have to ensure the football club behind you is stable.

“The club is always more important than any manager.”

Robinson signed a three-year deal with United at the start of the season, so is not expecting changes to take place any time soon.

But the head coach has always seen his role as having a wider remit than just results on the pitch.

And it is something which has worked elsewhere, with his coaching set-up staying at the Valley when he left for United in 2018 – with the Addicks going on to win promotion the following season.

He said: “We did it at Charlton. Part of the Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson thing was bringing players in with your head of recruitment because there’s a plan.

“When you move on they do different things, but they know all the players and it keeps continuity.

“There are so many changes now where one manager goes and the next one brings in a physio, a sports scientist, an assistant and a new head of recruitment.

“Then you lose two or three years of work.”