We’re in the middle of three away games against FA Cup winners.

How often can you say that in League One?!

We drew at in-form Ipswich last Saturday and today go to Wigan, who have been in the top two or three all season.

Next week we play Fleetwood and Rotherham, before going to Sunderland.

That’s a tough schedule for any team but it’s one we’ve spoken about this week.

Going to grounds like Portman Road or the Stadium of Light is why we want to get involved in football in the first place, to test ourselves at big clubs.

As I’ve said a few times on this page, we work in five-game blocks which allow us to break the fixture list down and set targets for each part of the season.

Read also: Nathan Holland bullish about Oxford United's chances at Wigan

This is the second game of the current batch and probably the toughest five matches since I took over as manager more than three-and-a-half years ago.

I’m not ignoring Tuesday night’s defeat at Bristol Rovers by the way, it’s just a different competition.

I thought it was a magnificent game that showed everything good about the FA Cup.

We had chances in the first match when it was 2-1, and then on Tuesday at 3-1.

Another goal then and I think the game is put to bed.

Instead we were sloppy, Rovers took advantage of that and ultimately we’re out of the Cup.

Make no mistake, that hurt us all. I hate losing at anything and the manner of that defeat, conceding three goals in the last ten minutes, was painful.

Unlike the league, you don’t get a chance to put things right in the Cup.

But I also think it hurt the players and that’s good.

A wounded animal is always more dangerous isn’t it?

I don’t think either performance this week has been poor by any stretch of the imagination.

We need to take the positives from both matches and do something about it by winning at Wigan this afternoon.

Read also: Oxford United Women determined to keep the hammer down

We travelled north yesterday and had a session at Manchester City’s old training ground in the afternoon.

It meant I was unable to get back down the motorway to watch the Under 18s in the FA Youth Cup at Reading.

Hopefully they came through that safely and showed people what we all believe, that they are a very talented group.

The same is true of our women’s side, who play Plymouth tomorrow.

Beth Lumsden joined us for training the other week and this time, we expanded that to a group of five or six players.

They came along on Thursday and worked with myself and Leon Blackmore-Such on the training ground pitches.

It’s fantastic to see not just their technical ability, but also their work ethic: they all want to hear new ideas and keep improving.

With the first team, academy and women’s teams all working hard alongside each other, it really does feel like the whole club is moving forward together.