It will be slightly strange not to be building towards a game this afternoon.

Usually on a Saturday I like to go for a walk to clear my head, get to the ground nice and early and let the day build to 3pm and kick-off.

We will instead report to the training ground this morning, work on the final touches of our plans and make sure we’re ready for a Sunday lunchtime game against Bristol Rovers.

We played at their ground in pre-season and that was close, so don’t be fooled by them being in a lower division.

They have a good manager, a great following and they’ll fancy their chances of winning at a stadium where they have an outstanding record.

All of which sets us up nicely for a classic FA Cup game.

As a lad I loved the FA Cup, I was just the right age to see my team, Liverpool, have some great years in the competition and it really caught my imagination.

These days, maybe young supporters are more intrigued by the Champions League or Premier League.

Andy Whing: Banbury 'buzzing' ahead of big FA Cup clash

But tell that to Andy Whing or anyone else in the full house at Banbury this afternoon, or any of our fans who saw us play Swansea or Newcastle over the last few years.

There’s still a magic to it and it can bring a whole city or community together in a way that no other sporting competition does.

Looking at the bigger picture, it comes at a good time for us.

We’re working in blocks of five matches and last weekend’s win at home to Morecambe was the end of a really productive group of games.

I thought we played well that day, maybe not quite at our very best but most people would agree that we deserved to win.

I’d just come back from ten days off and felt fresh and raring to go, but I noticed some tired faces – not just players, but staff as well.

So much hard work goes in to making this team better all the time and it just felt right to round off that little run of games with a couple of days off.

It did the trick and the last couple of days have been really good.

It has been very intense and all of our energy is going in to making sure that when the draw is made for the next round of the FA Cup, Oxford United are in it.

Elliott Moore: Cup run can have multiple benefits for Oxford United

If we want an example of what cup football is all about, then the FA Youth Cup this week was perfect.

On paper, you look at a 4-0 win for our Under 18s over Sutton Common Rovers and think it was easy.

But those lads we were playing against are effectively a college team and they had won four qualifying matches just to get the opportunity to take on a League side.

Credit to everyone involved in a thoroughly entertaining game of football.

I watched both teams leave the pitch to heart-felt applause from their coaches and families, because we could all see they had given absolutely everything for 90 minutes.

It’s exactly what cup football should be about.