It’s going to be a very raw afternoon at the Kassam Stadium today when we take on Cambridge United against the backdrop of a tribute to Joey Beauchamp.

People have been asking me if the players and staff will get caught up in the emotion of it all, but I think quite the opposite will happen.

I think the fans will be even louder than usual and we can try to use that passion to drive us forward.

It’s not going to be easy, as we saw on the first Saturday of the season when we travelled to Cambridge and drew one each.

I think you want to avoid a promoted team in the first game if you can, especially on their own ground, because they always have that momentum from the campaign before, plus the fans are still celebrating.

I’m pleased that the other U’s have adjusted so well to League One after that; they’re a really good club and have been immaculate in the way they’ve approached today’s events.

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Purely on a football basis we’re in a pretty good place right now.

The win at Charlton last Saturday was as good as you’ll see away from home.

We tried a few new things and once they all settled in to place we dominated the game.

We scored some wonderful goals and kept a clean sheet, which was probably the most pleasing aspect for me.

We then did the same thing on Tuesday at Crewe with the defence looking in control for much of the 90 minutes and Ciaron Brown popping up in the other penalty area to get the winner.

Credit to Ciaron, who had stayed behind after training and done some finishing work.

That’s a lesson for young fans because you can always put in extra hours and get your rewards.

Ciaron has come in to the side, Sam Baldock has made a big impact and we still have Marcus Browne to step in to the squad.

Marcus has trained well all week and has a chance today, as does James Henry who scored in a friendly against QPR on Tuesday.

I watched that then, drove up to Crewe and that made me admire the away fans even more because it’s not easy getting places on the motorways on a Tuesday night!

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There were 600 at Gresty Road and there will be close to 10,000 today.

If you’re coming then please salute Joey and all that he stood for.

But also get right behind the current team as we try to get a win for him.

As well as today’s celebration of Joey’s life, we plan to find a permanent way of marking his contribution to the club.

Was he the best player that Oxford has ever produced?

He has some tough competition for that title with England internationals like Mark Wright and Martin Keown and I’m convinced that like them he should have gone on to play for his country.

I used an expression in the week which seemed to strike a note: he played for HIS England, he played for Oxford United.