Joey Barton may be new to League One but he is no stranger to Oxford boss Karl Robinson.
Robinson’s brother Craig was on the books at Everton with Barton, who also knows U’s coach Derek Fazackerley.
Barton’s assistant, Clint Hill, was also a team-mate of Oxford’s Shaun Derry at QPR.
But there will be no friendly niceties until after 5pm as the clubs prepare to do battle at the Kassam Stadium.
Barton said of Robinson: “I know Karl. I played with his brother Craig in Everton’s youth team from nine to 14. I speak to him every now and again.
“He is the ‘scousest’ manager in the league and I know Liverpool is its own world – a little fishing village over on the west coast.
“Derek Fazackerley was one of the coaches when I was at (Manchester) City under Kevin Keegan.
“There are a lot of familiar faces but there will be no niceties until 5.30pm, when we go into their office. Until then it will be all systems go!”