In the final programme of the year, Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth writes the following:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming along to see us play Bristol Rovers. I hope it is a good game to watch and that we can end 2018 with a win for you.
Although I do not like to focus on negatives, I do have to say that it is disappointing that this game has to kick off at one o’clock today. It will mean a change of routine for everyone and my fear is that the crowd will be affected because we cannot sell tickets on the day of the game. I agree with the authorities and am not questioning their reasons for the change, but the simple reason for the change of time is because a small number of our supporters misbehaved at the corresponding game in Bristol earlier in the season. The actions of a few will affect the matchday of many and that is not acceptable. Please support your club but do it the right way. Show passion, show your love of the yellow and blue shirt, but always with respect and with pride.
The vast majority of fans here are fantastic supporters, as shown on Boxing Day against Southend. There were almost 9,000 people here and our aim has to be to slowly build the crowd so that the average rises to 8,000 then eight and a half and so on. We are making good progress with our marketing and how we attract new fans and this is one area I really want to focus on in 2019.
The other focus remains the one that all fans want: to build a successful side. We lost the game on Boxing Day but we will not lose the momentum that we have built over the last 16 games. One defeat cannot mask the way the team has been playing and should not dent anyone’s confidence. We have recovered well from a poor start in which injuries played a major part, and we have to keep building and keep believing in what we are doing.
There will be new faces in this transfer window and I was so pleased to be able to introduce Jordan Graham to you this week. We said it was a Christmas present but actually it has taken several weeks to bring in a player who you will all remember fondly from his first spell here. Jordan has a great attitude and will be available from the first week of January, and I hope we will have other new faces in the squad around that time as well.
May I just finish with two thank yous. First, to Kate Longworth who is leaving her role as the head of our Community team. We thank her for her hard work and wish her well for the future. The same is true of Colin Barson, who has stepped down as the Chairman of OxVox. I have spoken to Colin many times and know how much he loves this club; I am sure he will be here today as a fan and like all of us will be right behind the players and hoping we bounce straight back with a win this afternoon.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc