After Liam Manning decided to up sticks for Bristol City, the U’s decided to turn to appoint Oxford-born Buckingham as his successor.
Despite taking over a side that had won four games on the bounce, Buckingham experienced a disappointing start to his tenure, as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Cheltenham Town.
Although he was unable to claim his first win in midweek, the Oxford boss would have been content with a goalless draw against
promotion rivals and league leaders Bolton Wanderers – a result that leaves the U’s in third position and three points adrift of the top two.
While Oxford’s promotion hopes will be Buckingham’s main priority, he will now have the chance to take charge of his first FA Cup
game after the U’s beat Maidenhead United 2-0 in the first round in what proved to be Manning’s final game.
Having reached the third round in three of the last four seasons, the U’s will certainly be confident about their chances of progressing from Saturday’s cup tie.
Despite competing in the league below Oxford, fourth-tier Grimsby will still be dreaming of a place in the third round and a potential date with a Premier League side.
The Mariners will have fond memories of last season’s cup campaign, as they made their way to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1939, before their remarkable journey was brought to an end by Brighton & Hove Albion.
Grimsby are competing in the second round in back-to-back seasons after they eased to a 7-2 victory over Slough Town in a replay, making up for a disappointing 1-1 draw in the initial fixture.