IT’S a trip around the M25 for us today as we head to Gillingham on the back of both a first away league win of the season and consecutive victories.

Both those things have come a lot later in the season than any of us wanted.

But a couple of weeks ago I wrote on this page that we were coming into a crucial run of games, so to start with two wins has been very pleasing.

It’s not a coincidence that we have had players coming back from injury recently, plus I think our January transfer window was very good.

Mark Sykes, Jordan Graham and Jerome Sinclair have all done well and Ahmed Kashi is a great professional who is desperate for a chance to show what he can do.

Cameron Brannagan raring to go after suspension

That keeps everyone on their toes and gives me plenty to think about when selecting the team for this afternoon.

Don’t forget that we have Cameron Brannagan available again after suspension as well.

That has meant there has been plenty of intensity in training of late – but I don’t mind that at all.

Players should always work hard and pushing each other for a place in the starting XI – although you do have to try to keep a balance as well.

That’s why on Tuesday we trained in the morning and then went for a stroll around the city.

We walked along the banks of the river and up through the centre of town in a loop – all of us went, staff and players included.

I wonder whether everyone who lives in Oxford really appreciates what a beautiful and historic city it is?

I have taken the time to look around before because I think you should always try and understand the city that you represent.

The Ox on the badge is for the whole of Oxford and it is good to take a little time getting to know the place.

It was time well spent and I think a lot of the lads really started to grasp what we are trying to say to them.

Local lads like Sam Long and Josh Ruffels have that natural connection with their home town, and that builds a bond with the fans.

One walk around the city centre doesn’t build a lifelong affiliation, but it is a start and hopefully we can start to get out and about and find out plenty more about Oxford.

ONE of the most under-rated jobs in football is probably that of kit manager.

I have worked with some fantastic characters over the years and you need the patience of a saint sometimes because you are always, literally, at the heart of the dressing room and any banter that is flying about.

It was good to formally announce Jonny Edmunds as our kit man this week.

Jonny is Oxford through and through and has an unbelievable attention to detail as well as a great work ethic.

He has been connected to the club for 20 years now and will certainly be a big miss at the academy.

But has already become a key part of our backroom team and I am sure will be a great appointment.

Plus, if we run out today in Gillingham’s away kit today you now know who to blame!