BY the end of the month, Oxford United supporters will have a much clearer view on Des Buckingham and how they expect his tenure as head coach to pan out.

After the disappointment of the 2-0 loss at Cheltenham Town in his first game in charge, United have claimed a point against one of the best sides in Sky Bet League One and secured progress in two cup competitions.

The ride from here takes a series of twists and turns in what will be a challenging rest of December, beginning in the league with the trip to a free-scoring Peterborough United side.

There is no doubting that the Posh will be promotion contenders come the end of the campaign, and possess dangerous attacking threats via the likes of Ephron Mason-Clark, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Kwame Poku.

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After this weekend, there is then the small matter of a first Thames Valley derby with Reading for almost 20 years, although that run is more than 22-and-a-half years if you forget about two Carling Cup ties and look at just league clashes.

A home game with Burton Albion follows, prior to the congested festive period.

The U’s travel to Northampton Town two days before Christmas, and welcome Cambridge United and Derby County on Boxing Day and the 29th respectively.

Each game will pose different questions to United, while the fitness of a squad already a little light on numbers due to injury will be severely tested.