GARY Waddock admitted the unveiling of the Sky Bet League Two fixtures yesterday has really got him buzzing.
Oxford United will start their 2014-15 campaign with a home match against Burton Albion on Saturday, August 9 – their first opening Football League game of a season at the Kassam Stadium since 2002.
The U’s end with an away trip to Newport County, but are at home on Boxing Day when Shrewsbury are the visitors.
The announcement of the fixtures traditionally gets players, managers and fans excited about the upcoming season, and Waddock is no different.
“I really can’t wait to get going now,” the U’s head coach said.
“It’s always a big day when the fixtures come out because you know the start of a new season is in sight.”
He added: “It’s good to start at home, particularly for the fans because I know it’s been a while since our first match has been at home.”
After hosting Burton, Waddock’s side then travel to Bristol City in the Capital One Cup, before back-to-back away league matches at Mansfield and Morecambe.
“The Bristol match will obviously be a massive test for us, but one we can enjoy,” Waddock said.
“They will be one of the favourites for the League One title, which means we can go there with no real pressure on us.”
The two matches against former U’s boss Chris Wilder’s Northampton side are both midweek – United travelling to the Cobblers on Tuesday, October 21, with the return fixture on Tuesday, April 14.
Other games over the Christmas period see United on the road for two long away trips on December 20 (Hartlepool) and December 28 (Plymouth).
The Easter programme sees Waddock take his side to former club Wycombe Wanderers on April 4 and then host York City on Monday, April 6.
United face two long midweek away trips, travelling to Morecambe on Tuesday, August 19 and Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, February 10.
Sat 9 Burton Albion (H) * Tues 12 Bristol City (a) (CC 1) Sat 16 Mansfield Town (a) Tue 19 Morecambe (a) Sat 23 Portsmouth (H) Tues 26 CC 2 Sat 30 Dagenham & R (H)
Sat 6 Southend United (a) Sat 13 Exeter City (a) Tue 16 Accrington Stanley (H) Sat 20 Stevenage (H) Sat 27 Luton Town (a)
Sat 4 Newport County (H) Sat 11 Cambridge United (a) Sat 18 Tranmere Rovers (H) Tue 21 Northampton Town (a) Sat 25 Carlisle United (a)
Sat 1 Wycombe Wanderers (H) Sat 8 FA Cup 1 Sat 15 York City (a) Sat 22 AFC Wimbledon (H) Sat 29 Cheltenham Town (a)
Sat 6 FA Cup 2 Sat 13 Bury (H) Sat 20 Hartlepool United (a) Fri 26 Shrewsbury Town (H) Sun 28 Plymouth Argyle (a)
Sat 3 Cheltenham Town (H) or FA Cup 3 Sat 10 Dagenham & R (a) Sat 17 Southend United (H) Sat 24 Exeter C (H) or FA Cup 4 Sat 31 Stevenage (a)
Sat 7 Luton Town (H) Tue 10 Accrington Stanley (a) Sat 14 Burton Albion (a) Sat 21 Mansfield Town (H) Sat 28 Portsmouth (a)
Tue 3 Morecambe (H) Sat 7 Bury (a) Sat 14 Plymouth Argyle (H) Tue 17 Hartlepool United (H) Sat 21 Shrewsbury Town (a) Sat 28 Carlisle United (H)
Sat 4 Wycombe Wanderers (a) Mon 6 York City (H) Sat 11 AFC Wimbledon (a) Tue 14 Northampton Town (H) Sat 18 Tranmere Rovers (a) Sat 25 Cambridge United (H)
Sat 2 Newport County (a)
Key: CC= Capital One Cup * = date yet to be confirmed Fixtures are subject to change