Good afternoon everyone and welcome back for another very important game against Plymouth Argyle. Like ourselves, Plymouth have not started the season as they would have liked and that will give the game an extra edge. May I ask all supporters to get behind the team and help us make home advantage count.
Actually, I don’t know if I need to ask that because the support has been fantastic all season both at home and away. You travel in numbers, you encourage and try to drive the team forward and we could not ask for more from our fans. There is no hiding the frustration at the moment though and I fully understand what you are going through because I am going through it as well! That is two Tuesday nights in a row where I did not even try to sleep because I was thinking about the game; two matches where we were leading and in charge of the game but ended up with nothing.
Okay, the second was a Checkatrade game against Northampton but it was still a competitive first-team game and we cannot afford to keep losing games like we have been doing. In between was a very creditable draw at Southend where I thought the team showed its fighting qualities. I think most fans share my view that we have built a hugely talented squad here but, so far, the results have not followed. There have been reasons for that: a new squad takes time to settle and we have had terrible luck with injuries, but the league table is there for all to see and we cannot make excuses any longer. We have to dig even deeper and start to turn the talent, passion and team spirit that we definitely have into wins.
I do think we are making progress in so many areas and many of you will have seen a joint statement that we issued with Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council about the search for alternative sites for a potential new stadium. In it, we said that it would not be a short-term process and would be subject to the normal planning requirements, but we all have a shared commitment to ensure that Oxfordshire has a multi-use sporting venue that we are all proud to be associated with.
As we said, we have appointed a planning consultant and so the process is under way to find the best solution to a stadium problem that has been ticking away for close to 20 years now. We will work with fans as well as the two councils to find the right solution and we will do our best to be honest and open with supporters. It may be that it takes time, but we are here for the long-term future of this club, while in the short term we will get things right on the pitch as well. Starting today.
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