A SUCCESSFUL football club will always look ahead, rather than standing still and waiting for time to catch up on them.

In Oxford United’s position, drawing up plans for 2023/24 will be tricky as ultimately they don’t know what division they will be in.

If the unthinkable happens and United are relegated to Sky Bet League Two, then naturally, you would expect budgets to drop off compared to if they were in the third tier.

In terms of attracting players to the club, a new head of recruitment in the shape of Ed Waldron is the first step in preparing for the summer, whatever the outcome of this season.

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It has been refreshing to hear that he will guide the club back to a model which has proven so effective in recent seasons.

In central defence alone, the likes of Rob Dickie, Rob Atkinson and Luke McNally have all been brought in under the radar but then sold on for very healthy fees.

They came from different backgrounds but were unified in the type of player they were: young, full of potential and with room to develop.

By the time they left the club, they were polished gems more than able of playing at a higher level.

Signing those types of player boosted the club’s coffers and brought the club close to promotion.

It’s reassuring to hear that model will return.