WE have been fully focused in training on today’s Sky Bet League One game at Peterborough United.

But I wanted to use this week’s column to talk about some of the other great work that is happening behind the scenes.

On Monday night I went over to Thame United – and may I say what a fantastic club they are as well – to watch our under 23 side take on Wolves.

As most of you know, we took a decision to introduce a team for that age group this season.

Chris Allen manages and coaches them and those young players are in great hands because he is


They play regular games, but their biggest test comes in the Premier League Cup where they are in a group with Wolves, Swansea and Hull City.

All three of those clubs are four or five years in to their development programmes and several million pounds have been invested.

But on Monday night our boys matched Wolves and were very unlucky not to win after Harvey Bradbury put us ahead with a penalty.

We are perhaps six months in to our programme, but miles ahead of where we thought we would be at this stage.

It’s a great achievement and huge congratulations are in order to everyone involved.

That under 23 side is an important step forward for our under 18 team.

Kyran Lofthouse, a young winger from Oxford, has made the progression from the 18s to 23s and has been rewarded with his

first professional contract this


Our under 18 team are top of their league by six points, on a long unbeaten run, and playing away at Burnley in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday.

I will jump in the car and drive up to see them that night because I believe in that group of young men and want to see them play a big club at a big ground.

I know as manager I will always be judged on first -team results.

But I also think a big part of the role is to encourage and work with the coaches at all the age levels.

I want to make sure that the whole club is heading in the right direction, from top to bottom.

At the moment, it certainly feels that way.

AFTER a well-earned win at Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup last weekend we will now make the short trip to Brentford in the third round in January.

I’m not going to lie, there are more glamorous games out there.

But I think it’s a good draw for us.

We get to play a Championship side who won’t fancy coming up against us.

They will see the run we are on and be well aware that we can cause an upset.

Factor in that we will take a loud and vocal away support for the short journey to west London and who knows what could happen?

That’s the magic of the FA Cup – and it’s a game we can’t wait for.