We are giving Oxford United fans the chance to share their views on the club every Thursday this season. This week, Blake Bint looks at how the academy and women teams can be an inspiration to the first team.

OXFORD United can use inspiration from their women and academy counterparts to approach a tricky Christmas schedule.

The U’s travel to third-placed Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, before a trip to table toppers Ipswich Town on Boxing Day in what will be their first of three games within seven days.

The Yellows have been stubborn in all competitions of late, to recover from a poor start to the season.

Despite five draws in the seven games since their last league loss, Karl Robinson’s men have enjoyed an undefeated run since October 22.

With a tricky run of games coming up, the men should look to their counterparts who pull on the yellow strip every week to continue their stubborn form.

Oxford United’s U18 side secured a place in the FA Youth Cup third round last month.

Wins over Torquay United and Horndean, both by three goals to one, booked them a game with Exeter City, to be played next Tuesday after the initial tie was postponed due to the bad weather.

Another win will mean a fourth round tie with Cardiff City or Crewe Alexandra in the new year.

While the League One side has enjoyed a good cup run of their own, looking to extend that with a giant-killing of Arsenal in January’s third round tie, it is the women’s side, searching for promotion, who have taken the spoils representing the U’s in the 2022/23 season thus far.

Liam Gilbert’s women currently sit five points clear in the National League Southern Premier, in the search for promotion to the second tier in the pyramid.

With 24 points and undefeated from their 10 games, the Yellows have taken their form into the Women’s FA Cup with scorelines of 6-1, 13-0 and most recently 3-0 over league opposition Plymouth Argyle, to book their place in the last 32 where they travel to high-flyers Bristol City.

With last week’s postponement for Robinson’s men due to frosty conditions, Oxford are searching for their first league win since their 4-0 dismissal of Port Vale five weeks ago.

With a lack of competitive football of late, the U’s need to look for inspiration in their upcoming tricky period against two promotion chasing sides.

The cup runs of their club counterparts should be used for motivation to keep the fans on a high as 2023 nears.