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Tiger in the Programme

The Chairman writes in the Accrington Stanley programme

21 August 2018

Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth talks about building the club in his notes for the visit of Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, 21st August. You can read his thoughts below:

Good evening everybody and welcome to tonight’s game against Accrington Stanley. It is a long journey on a Tuesday evening, so we hope everyone who has come down with, or to support, Accrington enjoys their evening with us.

In some ways it is not easy to sit here on a Sunday morning putting my thoughts on to paper for the match programme. I usually like the process because it allows me to think things through, but as I write this morning it is hard to keep the result at Portsmouth out of my head.

But in the cold light of day I think there are two things to talk about. Firstly, the game itself. That was a difficult place to go with a full team, and to travel without Ricky Holmes, Rob Hall, Samir Carruthers and Simon Eastwood made it even harder. The team has picked up a lot of injuries very quickly and that has not helped with team selection or the understanding that grows with a new set of players like we have this season. We do not make excuses here and the players know, even without being told, that they let down the magnificent travelling fans.

The second point I want to make is that we are building for the long-term success of the club, so we have to keep one eye on the bigger picture, however difficult that is. When I say ‘building’ I mean literally with the new training ground, which gets closer with each week and which will be our home for many years to come. It is a huge improvement and has been built because we believe that without it we could not sustain Championship football, which has to remain our ultimate aim.

But I also mean building in terms of the infrastructure at the club. Think back one week and you saw a win over Coventry where Shandon Baptiste was Man of the Match and Fabio Lopes made his debut at just 16; the third youngest player ever to play for the club and the youngest since 1976. Are they the finished article? No, not yet. But do fans understand that, and allow them time to develop and grow? I think yes.

Maybe that is all I am trying to say. What we are doing here is right for Oxford United and will bring success. Three games into a season is not the time to judge. It will take time because everything is so new, but we know we are doing the right things for the right reasons. I understand that fans want instant success, but I also think the Oxford fans know their football and know that with two home games in a week the whole picture can become a lot brighter very quickly.

Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth



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