Interim manager Nick Daws has been speaking to the official Scunthorpe website as the Iron prepare to visit the U's on Good Friday.
Assisted by Andy Dawson, the duo have been preparing the team for the trip to the Kassam Stadium following the exit of Graham Alexander and Neil McDonald last weekend
"It’s obviously an extremely difficult time because you foster fantastic working relationships with people that are likeminded and people you know have entered into this business with real heart, enthusiasm and talent" he said. "The events of the weekend have been tough, and if Graham was sat here in my shoes he’d be saying the same thing. The objective is for the team to try and win football matches.
"(Andy and I) have always worked really well together and bounce off each other. He’s had a different viewpoint (after spending the season so far as Professional Development Phase Coach) and has been able to watch games without the effects of having to think about it from a coach’s perspective. He has got slightly more removed views from it, which have been great. He’s been able to reaffirm things. He’s given insights both to me and the players.
"I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’re in a great position, and it’s an enviable one to be in to have that challenge to get enough points to be in the play-offs. If we achieve that, then great. The next objective would be to win the next pair of games to take us one step further than the club achieved last season. The ultimate is then the final at Wembley and the chance of getting into the Championship.
"I take confidence in the fact I know the processes that we put in place gave us the best chance of winning games, and we won a fair few. The differences are this is a completely different place in time - a different team, with different strengths to what we had at that time. That brings itself different challenges. I knew the players then and I know the players now, we had a good squad then and have a good squad now. There’s less breathing space this time because there are seven games to go and fewer places up the table to climb. Our opponents will probably be thinking about us and knocking us off our perch more than last time, but it’s just a new challenge and we’re looking forward to it.
"This is our first live TV game of the season. The travelling time, the fact it’s an overnight stay and an early kick-off just brings a different element to it. We’re not going to place too much focus on that though because there’s no need. I saw Oxford at the weekend against Portsmouth, and they were hampered by the sending-off (of Alex Mowatt). At that moment, they were well in the game and were in a position to get a result.
"Karl Robinson’s been in the job for a few more days than me but he’s come into a situation where he didn’t know the players before, but has some good staff around him to help him with that. They’ll pass the ball, and look to be expansive and progressive. That’s the challenge that faces us – a direct opponent that has youth, talent, ability, strength and determination. I fully expect the crowd will be very supportive and vociferous, but we’ve been in these situations before and we’re ready for the challenge."