DES Buckingham says Oxford United will not go on the defensive when they tackle what Sky Bet Championship has to offer next season.

The U’s won promotion under Buckingham playing in a 4-3-3 formation which placed emphasis on the wingers staying high and wide, with further creativity from two advanced midfielders.

United of course had to be flexible in their approach, not least during the League One play-off campaign, but broadly the side has played an attacking style with Buckingham as head coach.

The U’s learnt this morning that they will begin the 2024/25 season at home to Norwich City, who finished in the Championship play-off places last time out.

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Buckingham though is looking forward to taking the Championship on head first.

Discussing the fixtures, he said: “It certainly brings it home. It’s been a really good couple of weeks where after Wembley, you certainly see how big of an impact this club has had on people around the area.

“To now be able to bring the calibre of teams that we will be able to bring to the Kassam and challenge our club against the teams that the fixture list throws at us, is a really exciting one for us to look forward to.

“You go into these types of games where you’re probably seen as the underdog in a lot of these fixtures, but if you use Wembley as an example, we were perceived in that manner externally, so it’s one where we’ll do as much as we can to be ready.

“I’m not a coach that wants us to sit back and defend, and try not to lose games, and I don’t care whether that’s League One or the Championship.

“I’m also not naive enough to think that we’ll have to be smart in how we set up, and the recruitment we do now to complement the players we have, and to allow us to play the way we want.”