Oxford United chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth writes in the Oldham Athletic programme: Good afternoon everybody and thank you for coming along to support us against Oldham Athletic today. It is a busy week with three home games in a row and it is time for everyone to pull together and do all we can to get back to winning games of football.
One of the many things I liked about Karl before he was appointed was that he was very honest about the situation we are in. Like all of us, he knows there are some extremely talented players here with huge potential, but he is also realistic and knows that we have to find a way of getting the right combination before we slip into any more danger. I think the performances have improved in the last two games but now we go in to the most crucial part of the whole season and have to start picking up results. I am encouraged by what I have seen so far and know that a win today would give everyone such a lift.
It was good to meet many of you at the Fans Forum last week, before the Scunthorpe match. As I promised on my very first day, I want to be open and approachable for you and I thought the Forum was a very positive start. I had to laugh when out of all the questions we could be asked one of the first ones was about the state of the toilets. I have to admit that my knowledge of the club is growing every day but is not at that level of detail, yet! But we will get to know all issues, large or small, that concern the fans and I hope we can work with you to make everything about the club better.
One key area that I want to help improve is the Academy and Youth Development side of things. Karl and I sat down with Dan Harris, the Head of the Academy, last week to try and develop a strategy that works for the club in both the short and long term. As I mentioned at the Forum, I helped Reading develop their Academy so I am very aware of what needs to be done to build the right infrastructure here.
With that in mind I came along last Saturday to watch the current youth team play Luton in the League Cup final and I really enjoyed a terrific game of football. Having gone 2-0 up, the boys were pegged back by Luton and in the end the game was decided by penalties, with our visitors winning the match. It was so sad to see tears from the players but I spoke to them afterwards and told them that they will learn so much from that experience and that all of them are the future of this football club.
I would really like to see our supporters fill the stadium and make a lot of noise to back our boys and Karl for the last four home matches to encourage them for a bright next season.
The future is bright, but for now all of our energy must be on the present. This week is when we all need to focus and get behind the players in three massive games. Please stay positive, get behind them, and let’s do everything we can to start the week with a win.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc.