I think every fan likes night games and the drama of football under the lights. OK there may not be a sell-out crowd again tonight, but I think there is always something special about midweek games here and I hope the team plays well and can get another important win this evening.
Every week we take turns to go on BBC Oxford and answer fans’ questions. I enjoy that a lot and I think we are always very open in our answers; I don’t think I have ever hidden away and been unapproachable, even if I can’t be in Oxford day in, day out. It was my turn to do the forum last week and I answered on the transfer window, recruitment, and of course about the stadium: there is always a question about that!
Let me be very honest. Those questions came after we lost to Sunderland. If it were my turn this week, then I think the general tone of the questions would have been different because we have beaten Wimbledon and Ipswich since then. What I am trying to say is that the mood among the fans goes up and down with each result at this stage of the season. I understand that; all the season now comes down to just 12 games, so each defeat becomes a greater concern, each win becomes so much more important. We won two games in a row, but that does not entitle us to two more wins just because we have two home games this week. We have to fight just as hard and we have to remain calm and be strong, whatever happens each game. Accrington will be tough; we drew at their ground earlier in the season, so we have to try to make home advantage count.
But the question that has stuck in my mind since last week was whether I sometimes felt I was wasting my time at Oxford United. I don’t think anyone would think of asking that if we get six points this week.
As I said, one loss feels so bad at the moment, but it will never make me lose my love for this club or lose sight of what we are trying to achieve here. We are building a football club and every week something good happens. This week it is the news that every baby born in Oxfordshire will receive a free Oxford United bib and card. What a great way to make every household aware of their local football club.
It may seem a small thing, but all those things add up: community initiatives like that, small improvements to our training ground each week, small steps for the youth team and age groups, commercial events like the 2010 reunion dinner. I am so proud of what we are achieving here, so proud of the people who are helping to build this club, and so proud of the fans and the team.
This is your football club, but it is in my heart as well now and who knows where we can take it together?
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc