We've got cup fever

WE’VE been busy getting ready this week for our FA Cup game against Oxford City and it’s a case of us maintaining our standards.

There’s no room for any complacency in the FA Cup and we’ve very aware of that.

There’s a buzz around the place about the game and we can’t wait for it.

Some of the boys were here the season before last when we reached the fourth round of the competition and played Tottenham Hotspur in front of the live TV cameras and it would be lovely to go as far again.

The FA Cup still means a lot to players.

I was having a chat with Tom Lapslie about it the other day and it’s a unique competition.

I’m sure we’re like all other League One and League Two clubs in that we’re looking to get through to the second round of the competition and then hopefully give ourselves the chance of going further and possibly playing the bigger clubs.

That would be great for the club from a morale point of view and also from a financial one.

I think the furthest that I’ve been in the FA Cup is the third round when we played at Cardiff City a few years ago and it would be great to go further, this time around.

We’ll certainly go into the Oxford City game full of confidence after our recent run of form.

Our latest win was a 3-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra last weekend, where we had to come back to win after going behind.

It was another box ticked in this period of form of picking up a win when we’re not playing so well.

We were poor in the first half but we dominated the second half.

We didn’t set the place alight but we got the job done.

We’ve really pushed on and kick-started our season, over the last few weeks.

It’s promotion-type form and the squad are buzzing at the moment - it’s a good place to be.

But at the same time, it’s a long season and it’s important that we maintain the consistency and not let it slip.

Hard-working Mika deserves his goals

I WAS delighted for Mikael Mandron after his two goals against Crewe.

He’s a great lad and he’s settled in really well.

He’s come into the number nine role which Chris Porter had for us and they’re pretty big boots to fill, both on and off the pitch.

But he works really hard at his game – we’re a good, strong hard-working group and no-one would fall into the category of being lazy.

Mika is out there every day doing the extra work and working hard at his game.

He often wants to practise his shooting with me after training, which is kind of a bit annoying sometimes when you need to get away from something!

Mika’s predecessor Chris Porter was back in town with Crewe last weekend and it was good to catch up with him after the game.

Their manager kept them in the changing room for a while after the game and I think he’s happy up there and sorted with his living arrangements.

There was a lot of banter flying around during the match with him and I’m pleased we did the business.

He had a chance that he put wide which I’m glad about – if he’d scored, we’d have never heard the end of it!

Lewis is a worthy champion

I’M not a huge fan of Formula One but it was great to see Lewis Hamilton do the business again and win the title.

It shows again just how good a champion he is with a fourth title and I’m sure he’ll be looking for many more to add to that but he’s already up there with the greatest.

People love watching him because he’s exciting – he gets into the thick of it and loves overtaking, which is great to watch.

He’s also not afraid to speak his mind and I like people like that.

Age is but a number

SO Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth named himself as one of the substitutes for his side in their Checkatrade Trophy game against Swindon Town, on Tuesday night – at the age of 44.

He didn’t come on in the end but it’s no mean feat to put yourself in the running for playing at his age.

Will I still be playing professionally at that age? Possibly.

I’d have to see how my body reacts and you don’t know whether you’ll be feeling fit enough or training enough to do that but I’d love to play until the age of 40, if I can keep myself fit.

Time for youngsters to shine

IT was great to see England’s under-17s win the World Cup, last weekend.

It certainly bodes well for the future and hopefully this will be our generation and our time, just as it has been for the likes of Italy, Spain and France in the past.

Hopefully, St George’s Park and all that comes with that is finally paying off and hopefully now the young players can get some game time with their respective clubs.

It’s key that they get the experience that they need and if that isn’t at their present clubs, then on loan.

I’d like to see them given their opportunity at their respective clubs and if they’re good enough, they’ll get them.

But there’s so much at stake for Premier League clubs and there’s absolutely no room for any slip-ups.

I can see why it’s difficult for managers to put their faith in young players.

Lapslie's sweet on GBBO

MY wife and I have boycotted The Great British Bake Off ever since it moved from the BBC to Channel 4.

We love Mary Berry and Mel and Sue and we haven’t watched it this year and as a result, I don’t know anything about this year’s series.

My team-mate Tom Lapslie is a big Bake Off fan though and did make the transfer over to Channel 4.

I don’t know what his baking’s like though – I can’t see him bringing any home-made cakes any time soon!