It has been another busy week for us, and I am naturally delighted that we prepare for today’s game after three wins and three cleans sheets in a row. It wasn’t easy against Accrington and I expect another tough game today against Southend, despite what the league table might say.
Tuesday night’s game saw a lot of speculation about Blackpool’s interest in Karl, and by the time you read this I hope that has all been cleared up and faded away. I said in my notes the other week that one of the prices of success is that other clubs start taking notice of what you are doing, but we are building things together here and Karl is a central part of everything we do.
There are two things I noticed this week that perhaps highlight the way we are building. The first was a first appearance on the bench for Rob Atkinson, who we have recalled from Eastleigh as cover in defence. Rob is a very talented player and is having to be a little patient but is certainly one for the future. Right now, Rob Dickie, Elliott Moore and John Mousinho have done so well in that position all season, but Rob is a player we believe will improve and mature and will make his mark, whether it is this season or next. It can’t all be about instant success, sometimes you have to look a little further ahead.
That has been the story at the training ground as well, and quietly, patiently, we have built that and worked towards longer-term sustainability. The last couple of weeks have seen the 3G pitches being booked up and available for use by the whole community of Oxford. When I was over last week, I was leaving the training ground but stopped and watched the kids playing football out there for a while. It reminded me of the simple game that we all fell in love with at that age; although we could head the ball back then as well!
The pitches are available if local teams want to get in touch and use them, and over the next few weeks and months more and more opportunities will become available there. Again, we aren’t just building for this season, we always have one eye on the future and doing the right thing for the city of Oxford as well as its football club.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc