KARL Robinson has been calmness personified in the Wembley build-up, but there is no getting away from it – for both sides Monday could be the closest they get to the Championship for a while.

Oxford United against Wycombe Wanderers was a Sky Bet League One play-off final no one was predicting.

Even just over a week ago the bookmakers had them as third and fourth favourites respectively to win the four-horse play-off race.

And yet, here we are.

Robinson has had a glimpse of what is at stake.

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At Milton Keynes Dons he suffered back-to-back play-off defeats, then slipped to tenth the following campaign before finally claiming automatic promotion.

Getting to within touching distance of glory one season does not mean you have any right for a return ticket in the following campaign.

And the United boss fully experts getting this close next year will be tougher.

It is not quite now or never, but he believes the uphill battle will get steeper.

“It would probably be almost impossible next year, it will be that hard,” Robinson said.

“If Wycombe go up then we’d stay down with Fleetwood, who will be better next year, Portsmouth, Peterborough, Sunderland, (maybe) Barnsley, Middlesbrough, Hull.

“Then you’ve got good sides coming up in Swindon and Plymouth.

“There will be an awful lot of teams that are going to be very competitive, which would make it very difficult for ourselves.”

He added: “It’s (a division) we’re desperate to get out of and I’m sure Wycombe will be the same.

“We’ve both got bottom-half budgets and to think we’re going to be competing for a place in the Championship.

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“It just shows the enormity of what these two sets of players have really achieved.”

That potential challenge to go again next season is even before you consider how United’s team could be impacted.

Robinson is well aware, having lost Gavin Whyte, Tariqe Fosu and Shandon Baptiste in the past 12 months, it will be tough to hold on to key players if they are a League One club next season.

But he has used that as an added motivation for a tight-knit squad.

Robinson said: “The only way we can keep this team, I hope, is by finding ourselves at the next level, where a lot of my players keep telling me every week that’s where they deserve to be.

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“If they deserve to be there, then get there wearing yellow – and that’s the message I’ve tried to get into them.”

The U’s boss is a football fan at heart, so is painfully aware just how difficult it has been for supporters to be kept away from these games.

But the squad do not feel alone.

Robinson said: “We can feel their love and support.

“I think that’s a great place to be, when you have a group of men that don’t want to let the fans down.”