Darryl Eales writes in the Portsmouth programme
Welcome to one and all on Fans Day.
Today our visitors are Portsmouth, who will bring their usual excellent support and it is pleasure to welcome their fans, players and officials.
Fans Day is a great occasion, organised by the fans for the fans, to encourage as many regular and not so regular fans as possible to attend, bring new supporters and generally encourage as many people as possible to come and enjoy the game and create a fantastic atmosphere.
Portsmouth at home is an opportunity to really make the stadium rock. The players consistently comment about the difference the fans make during games and this has certainly been the case so far this season. Our support has been brilliant!
We all know that football can be fickle and there will be ups and downs, challenges and setbacks over a long 46-game season, but I really urge everyone to keep the feel good factor around the club going and play your full part in maintaining our momentum.
Fans are at the heart of the club and Fans Day is the embodiment of this - thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make the day a success and to everyone for attending today.
We are now seven games in and we have started the season pretty well. Our last home game was against Yeovil where an excellent performance was rewarded with a comfortable win.
We have followed this with a couple of tough away games at Bristol Rovers and Northampton. The two games certainly demonstrated the ups and downs of football.
Against Rovers, I had the pleasure of joining the fans on the terraces - what a great experience and as ever the support was brilliant! Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome both during the game and in the pub. I thought the performance showed terrific strength of character, capped off by a great goal from Kemar.
Last week was another tough encounter and I felt Northampton, having gone into a deserved 1-0 lead, marshalled their resources superbly. In all honesty, I don't think it was our most fluent performance but we still had enough chances to deserve something from the game.
Although the defeat brought to an end our unbeaten run, we can congratulate AJ George on making his debut for the club and John Lundstram on starting his first full game.
Today is one of those all too rare days in football nowadays where loyalty and commitment are being rewarded as we celebrate Jake Wright’s 250th appearance for the club – the milestone being achieved against Bristol Rovers. I am sure I speak for all of us in thanking Jake and long may he continue to perform in an Oxford United shirt.
We also held an open afternoon and fans forum at Oxford City and County Bowls Club. Thanks to Bob Scholes and his fellow club members for their hospitality and for making everyone feel so welcome. Thanks also to everyone who attended the forum, our fourth this season. As ever, there was a great range of questions and variety of views! What is clear is your passion and how much you care about the club, both on and off the pitch. The endorsement of the importance of our Academy and our community work was very welcome.
I also want to plug United in Business, our business networking club which is gaining great momentum and is putting on some quality events. I am especially looking forward to next Tuesday, September 22nd, where we welcome one of the most impressive leaders in any walk of life, General Sir Nick Parker, who will speak on Leadership in Combat - and its relevance to business and sport. It should be a wonderful evening.
Thanks to everyone who has joined UIB and to the UIB team who do such a brilliant job. It is going from strength to strength, helping promote business amongst Oxford companies and helping the club - thank you!
Finally, back to today. Portsmouth will be a stern test. They are justifiably favourites for promotion and provide us with a great opportunity to assess our own progress and to bounce back from last week.
Enjoy Fans Day, enjoy the game and let's get behind the team