Oxford United chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes in the Manchester City Carabao Cup quarter-final programme:
Nights like this are fantastic for Oxford United but also for football in general. To welcome the champions of England in front of a sold-out crowd and with the game shown live on TV is a wonderful occasion and one which I hope everyone enjoys. Why would I be proud to be Chairman of this football club? For games like this.
I watched the game at MK on iFollow ended our fantastic unbeaten run, but I don’t think it should take anything away from the way the team have been playing. To go so long and not lose a game was wonderful and I think showed the depth of the squad that Karl, Faz, Amy and Shorty have built, because we have had to deal with so many injuries and yet we managed to find a way to keep winning. Now we are coming to the busiest time of the season and we have players like Cameron Brannagan, Shandon Baptiste and Ben Woodburn all coming back into a side that is one point outside the play-offs with a game in hand.
Off the pitch, we have had two important events in the last 24 hours. Firstly, we held a fans’ forum and it was good to talk to fans and answer their questions, and then earlier today we officially opened the training ground. Being in charge of our own training ground for the first time in the club’s history was a big step forward this season and we want it to be a home to be proud of not just for us but for football across the city and county.
That is important for us, to be part of a wider community, and we welcome Football For Peace tonight: Kash Siddiqi’s wonderful project to promote world peace through the power of football. We also welcome MIND and are working very hard to spread the word about the importance of mental health.
As well as showing off all that is good at Oxford United, we have a sad side to tonight’s game and will be paying tribute to Jim Smith. People tell me he was Oxford’s greatest Manager and who am I to argue with that? The first thing I saw when I walked into the club was a huge sign that said: ‘Proud History, Bright Future’. Jim helped make that history so much prouder and we thank him for everything he did for this club.
I am sure he will be looking down and hoping that we add one more chapter to that history with an upset tonight.
You can download the online version of the programme at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc