With five players in Qatar, others playing in November internationals and the remainder given a fortnight off before returning to Rush Green on 30 November, it has been a period like no other for Warburton, manager David Moyes and his staff.
As such, the Irons took a makeshift squad to the Abbey Stadium for U's defender Greg Taylor's Testimonial, in which Jarrod Bowen and Saïd Benrahma scored fine goals, Aaron Cresswell was withdrawn early on and both Tomáš Souček and Maxwel Cornet were left at home as a precaution.
Warburton told whufc.com: "It was important to come back and play some good football in a competitive game after the break we have had.
"The boys have come in and had three or four hard-working days and tonight was an extension of that.
"It's important now to start preparing for the first game back [at Arsenal] on 26 December, so it was important to get minutes into the boys' legs and good loading and a good workout.
"Some of them had 45 minutes and some had 60 and some of the young boys came on and did well and got minutes as well and did well, so overall it was a really good experience.
"You keep hearing the word 'unprecedented' being used about this season, but it really is.
"You've got boys who are away at the World Cup, you've got boys who have played international friendlies for their countries like Tomáš, Vlad and Saïd etcetera, and others who haven't had minutes during the break, so you've got boys coming back at a real hotchpotch of levels, so we've had a few days of hard work to get them back to where they need to be.
"It's a really tough time and every club is going to learn from this experience around Europe, because it's not easy."