WE travel to Walsall today looking to get a positive result at the end of a very disappointing week for the whole football club.
There was such a build-up and we had such high expectations at Wembley last Sunday.
But for the second year in a row we were left to stand on the pitch and watch the other team go up the steps to lift the trophy.
There was a horrible feeling of déjà vu after the game, but I think this one probably hurt me the most.
Last year against Barnsley we came up against a very good side who won promotion.
This year we were the favourites, but our performance was well below par.
I think to win a Wembley final you probably need seven or eight of your players to be outstanding.
Last Sunday maybe only three of ours would say that they played well.
Credit to Coventry. As a club they have suffered over the last few years and their manager Mark Robins was very gracious after the game.
But I won’t watch that game back, ever.
All we can do is try and remember the pain of defeat and use that to spur us on to greater things.
People suggested Wembley also cost us against Fleetwood on Wednesday.
But I think it was the culmination of a long, hard season.
We tried to mix things up a bit, but there were some tired legs out there against a very strong side who took their chances in the last quarter of the game.
I have to say that two or three of the players virtually did my job for me after the game.
We have some very strong characters in the squad and those came to the fore.
No raised voices, no anger, just passion and a burning desire to be part of a winning side.
Don’t get me wrong, I had my say as well, but all I needed to do was reinforce the message the players had already got across.
That is a fantastic sign of what is to come as in a very young squad the leaders are really starting to shine through There are five games to go and we will give it everything in each of them, but realistically it looks like League One again next season.
If we are to succeed next time around then those leaders will have truly come to the fore.
A FOOTBALL club never rests and there were some very promising signs this week.
First of all on Tuesday night the youth team reached the final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup in a fantastic cup tie against Banbury United, winning 3-2 after extra time.
Then at half time on Wednesday we introduced next year’s scholars to the crowd.
I love being a manager but I would trade it in an instant to swap places and be a 16-year-old kid starting his scholarship again.
What a fantastic opportunity.
There is plenty of hard graft ahead for those boys.
But if they work harder than ever before, listen to the right people, and have that single-minded hunger to succeed then I look forward to seeing them in the first-team squad in years to come.