WE’RE getting our longer journeys out of the way nice and early this season and today we head for Fleetwood.

I understand that it’s not the happiest hunting ground for Oxford United – although my own record there is pretty good so I hope the two things balance themselves out.

We will be without Ben Woodburn and Mark Sykes who are away with Wales and Northern Ireland.

I think it’s great that people are starting to ask us about international breaks when we have the likes of Shandon Baptiste, Chris Cadden and Nico Jones all involved at that level as well.

What a great sign of where this club has come if we are getting players in to national squads on a regular basis.

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Ben has done well for us so far but because he got called up for Wales so young people expect so much from him.

I just looked it up actually; he is Liverpool’s second youngest goalscorer after Michael Owen and also Wales’ second youngest scorer behind Gareth Bale.

That’s not bad company to be in is it!

Because those things happened when he was so young it seems like he has been around forever. But he is still only 19 and learning all the time.

He has a fantastic attitude and loves being here at Oxford so it has been a good loan from all sides and I think there is plenty still to come from him.

What I would love though is for someone to give me a massive headache when Ben returns.

It’s a squad game and someone is going to get an opportunity to come in to the team and impress today.

That was what happened on Tuesday night against Norwich in the Trophy.

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We asked those who came into the side to make it hard to leave them out today.

Every single one of them rose to that challenge and I am going to have some difficult decisions to make.

I like that side of management though and we will pick a team we believe can finally get Oxford a win at Fleetwood.

Sometimes things happen around the club that make you smile.

During the summer, Rob Hall went down to Helen and Douglas House.

He met two unbelievable young men, the Fryatt brothers, who are devoted to their sister Mia who has benefitted enormously from everything that Helen and Douglas House do for young people.

Often players go to visits like that, pose for a few photos then leave.

But Hally stayed for hours and then a couple of weeks ago invited the whole family to come along and watch a match as his guest.

This week he was posing for a picture again and I asked what he was doing.

He was setting up an auction for a pair of his boots with all the proceeds going to Mia’s fight.

What a fantastic thing to do, and full marks to Hally who has taken the initiative to set the whole thing up.

Even better, when Cameron Brannagan heard about it he added a pair of his boots too.

Little things like that just put a smile on your face.

We concentrate so hard on football, but sometimes there are more important things . . .