A week is a long time in football. A month an eternity. On the field we have seen a step forward in performance, then a crashing fall, only to be followed by an assured stride back into the play-off places. Whatever happens this season, it has definitely been done the ‘Oxford’ way. Ridiculously, in this sport we love there is already pressure on a manager who has been here for less than half a season and who is one of that rarest of breeds, a local man who understands the club. Never let it be said that we supporters can’t be flexible with our levels of optimism.

There are of course basic, results-led, reasons for some unease, and in football there is always the intractable issue of expectations. Ours started stoically restrained, soared to automatic promotion certainties (we never said champions, we are after all still Oxford fans), and now we sit nervously expecting....well nobody is quite sure. Having lost an underperforming manager, we got one who we liked but had nagging reservations about, he left abruptly and we got a manager we loved but then worried about his plan and now....well you get the picture, it’s exhausting being an Oxford fan!

The malaise that had descended over the club does appear to be lifting again. For all our fretting and post-match venting, Oxford fans on the whole are a very reasonable bunch. Knowledgeable about our club and active in supporting both it and the community we live in. Football is so much more than just results. More than anything it is about people and shared experiences. Life and external factors weigh on our experience with the club but it should also be a place to forget those worries.

The last month has seen the club trying to tackle some of the communication issues that have been at the heart of some of these tensions. At an overdue fans forum we had standing room only with 150 in the room and another 350 watching our online feed. This was on the back of a three hour meeting we held with Grant Ferguson days before the forum, and a change in attitude towards how they deal with both OxVox and the fanbase. Supporters got to ask the questions that had vexed them for too long and in fairness to Grant and Tim Williams they were more open and understanding of the tensions than we have previously seen.

All in all it felt like a release valve had kicked in and as with the Port Vale game, we had taken a small but potentially very important step forward.

Football so often leaves us with little to play for at the end of a season. The sun is starting to shine. The mist is clearing and we are in the play-off places with our destiny in our own hands. We have a planning application in for a state of the art community stadium.

Time to dust off the lucky pants and enjoy the sheer absurdity of it all.