IT may be a blank Saturday for us, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be hard at work today.

That should please the fans who keep asking me where our next striker is – trust me, we are working on it!

With no game to build towards it has been a strange week and we have given the players a little bit of time off after the game at Bury on Tuesday.

There was a temptation to cancel it and make them come in after that performance, but you have to take a step back sometimes and look at the bigger picture.

We have a small squad and most of the players have had a lot of football since Christmas.

A few days away from each other will just clear their heads, allow them to rest up and hopefully they come back in refreshed and ready to go against Barnsley on Tuesday night.

I was so disappointed with the performance at Bury, especially after we had played so well against Portsmouth to win just three days earlier.

You can’t just turn it on when you feel like it, you have to have some level of consistency whether you are playing the league leaders or away at Gigg Lane on a freezing Tuesday night.

OK, for ten minutes we were really good, but what happened after that was shambolic.

I don’t buy into the ‘it was only the Checktrade Trophy’ line.

No excuses.

It was a competition we wanted to do well in and there were 101 fans prepared to travel all that way through the snow to watch their team.

The fans showed more commitment than anyone and that is why the players will be refunding them the ticket price.

It says a lot about our supporters that only a small minority have actually claimed the refund.

But we will collect the money from the players and whatever is left will be going to either the academy or the Community Trust.

That is just a gesture from us and a thank-you to the fans for their support.

This Tuesday night we get a chance to make amends and show the true Oxford United.

We owe Barnsley for what happened on the first day of the season and that will make us a very dangerous side.

Come along and get behind us.

ONE great thing that happened this week was a meeting of all the teams that play for Oxford United.

On Monday night we got everyone together from the under nines to the first team.

The Academy sides watched us train and then we all posed for a giant ‘OUFC’ image.

It was great to talk to those young players and in particular I want to thank the parents and families who give up so much time to get them to training and support at games.

Monday just reminded everyone of why we got into football in the first place.

Hopefully in a few years we will be able to look back at that picture and pick out players who have gone on to feature for the first team.