DES Buckingham has revealed that he initially took a step back in training, when talking about his first full week in charge of Oxford United.

The former Mumbai City head coach was named Liam Manning’s successor at United on November 16, and with no game last weekend due to the international window, this week has marked the build-up to his first game in charge.

Buckingham takes the U’s to a Cheltenham Town side, who if not for Reading’s points deductions, would be bottom of Sky Bet League One.

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In preparation for the game, Buckingham initially stood back and observed training, rather than getting too involved himself.

After completing that process though, he has overseen the sessions at a training ground he grew up just round the corner from.

Reflecting on his opening days as head coach of his hometown side, Buckingham said: “The week’s been really good and obviously with time to settle myself, but also for the players to become used to me.

“I think when there’s change, there can be disruption, but the players are a good group.

“The way that Shorty [Craig Short] was supported by the players and the staff around this building says so much for the culture and the environment that was already here.

“Often when you come in as a manager, you’ve come in because things haven’t been working very well. It’s not the case here, things have obviously been working extremely well.

“I’ve spent the week trying to make sure that rather than me come in and take over, I come in, and observe and watch.

“It’s one thing seeing things on the TV and being told certain things, but the opportunity to come in and see how things do run, and what that looks like, has been very important.

“I’ve done that now and taken a couple of the most recent sessions, but it’ll be very much about a large continuation of what we’ve been doing, while adding some small things that will hopefully allow us to get better.”

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He added: “I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with the response of people getting in touch and wishing me well.

“I walked out the house and there was a guy walking his dog at six o’clock. He looked at me and said ‘good morning’, and then he double backed and must’ve realised I was the Oxford manager, and said ‘good luck, all the best’.

“To be back and around family, and everything I know, has been really busy, but busy and good for the right reasons.”